Foster Abba, over at The Final Maze has been writing thought provoking posts on the cost of special needs adoption. They have been banging around my head, but nothing jelled until a friend made the comment that the services her RADling needed were available in her town. So why isn’t the child receiving them? Their state medicaid won’t pay for them and they can not pay out of pocket.
GB is getting exactly what she needs from the school district. Our school district is better than most local school districts, but the real reason GB is getting what she needs is that we could afford a lawyer, and paid her almost seven thousand of dollars. Until three months ago, all of GB’s psychiatric care was paid out of pocket because nobody competent accepted ANY kind of insurance. Thousands of dollars. I don’t know exactly how much because I didn’t want to know and am fortunate enough to be in a position that the money was available. We recently switched the girls to a provider who accepts our insurance. She wasn’t taking new patients, but with finesse (yes, me), persistence, and a little outside help, we eventually got them in. It only took seven months. She has just the right experience and I am thrilled. Until this morning, I hadn’t given the fact that the provider she belongs to doesn’t accept medicaid. GB’s medicaid waiver was approved last week. I applied now so that as an adult she would be eligible for all the DDSO services. Now, she could receive pca and respite hours and social groups. Even without the medicaid, GB would have these services. I want DDSO services for when I am no longer here to take care of her.
Where am I going with this? The way the system works now, a special needs child may be looking at two very different outcomes for their life, depending on how much money their adoptive family has to pay for private services. That is wrong on so many levels. Society is responsible for these children and when they take on this responsibility,
they we take on the obligation to do it right.
I wrote this from the perspective of an adoptive parent. I haven’t been a foster parent for many years, but as I reread what I wrote, the argument holds up for foster children as well. If we take a child from their biological family, we take on the responsibility and obligation to do it right.
Economics should never determine a child’s future. Society has an obligation to provide what each child needs.