Resource: E.C. v. Sherman

By: Children's Rights

August 15, 2005

Children's Rights

Children’s Rights filed this class action in August 2005, together with a broad coalition of Missouri advocates, when a new Missouri law threatened to cut off critical adoption subsidies for special needs foster children. The Complaint asserted that the law, known as Senate Bill 539, violated the rights of children under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the federal Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act (as amended), and the Contracts Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The lawsuit claimed that the law would eliminate adoption assistance subsidies for thousands of special needs children in foster care, and retroactively cut off adoption assistance subsidies to thousands of children already adopted who had contracts with the Missouri Department of Social Services (DSS) promising those subsidies until they turned 18.