Parents of adopted children are urging state lawmakers not to cut subsidies for kids with special needs. Cedar Falls mother Diane Larson says she and her husband get 12-hundred dollars a month to help cover the educational and mental health needs of their two adopted children. Larson says her kids have monthly medication and counseling sessions that cost 300-700 dollars a month. They had such an abusive former life she uses a lot of the money just giving them things that’ll assure them a more normal life. Larson says without the subsidy she fears many special-needs children would remain in foster care or end up in residential treatment facilities…which she says would cost the state more in the long run. She says they couldn’t have afforded to take on the care of two special-needs children without the subsidy. But while adoptive parents praise the special-needs subsidy, state lawmakers worry about the rising cost. The state spent nearly 24 million dollars on the program last year and is expected to spend over 27 million this year. She says it lets people who don’t have the thousands of dollars to afford private or international adoptions to connect with kids who need permanent families. Representative Geri Huser, a democrat from Altoona, says the growing cost of the special-needs adoption subsidy comes out of other programs…and that’s money that could be spent on other child welfare programs. Huser says services are needed “on the front end” for families at risk, saying it’s not fair to spend money for subsidies for adoption that won’t to go help keep the kids in their original homes. Representative huser says the state may have to consider decreasing the adoption subsidy. She knows it will be unpopular, but doubts it will reduce the number of special needs adoptions. Huser says they’re not adopting kids because of the money or services provided to them, they’re adopting them because they love them. If subsidies are decreased, she doesn’t think parents will quit adopting special-needs kids — “If they lvoe them and want them pasrt of their family, they’re gonna do what it takes.” Just last week the governor announced Iowa marked a record number of special-needs adoptions last year, and praised the parents who opened their homes to these kids. So at least one democratic staffer says it’s unlikely he would be willing to cut the adoption subsidy.
You are here: / / Parents urge continued funding for adopted kids