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American Bar Association

ABA Section of Litigation
Children's Rights Litigation

Case Notes


E.C. v. Sherman

No. 05-0726-CV-C-SOW, 2006 WL 1194767 (W.D. Mo. May 1, 2006)

In E.C. v. Sherman, No. 05-0726-CV-C-SOW, 2006 WL 1194767 (W.D. Mo. May 1, 2006), the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri declared that Missouri statutes rolling back adoption subsidies were unconstitutional and permanently enjoined the statutes from taking effect. The statutes at issue made adoption subsidy agreements renewable at the discretion of the state’s director of social services and placed a one-year limitation on their duration. They caused pre-existing, current and future adoption subsidy agreements to expire automatically upon their one-year anniversary. The statutes also based eligibility on the income of the family from which they were removed and not the adopting family or the needs of the child. The district court based its decision on the preemptive effect of the federal Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980, as amended by the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, and the Equal Protection and Contracts Clauses of the U.S. Constitution.

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