Sunday, December 10, 2023

Whitmer to Close Black Adoption Agency

'At times the agency has been unable to pay foster parents promptly... '

(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) The Michigan Department of Heath and Human Services is closing a Detroit-based adoption agency that has found itself in a precarious financial situation that could affect the quality of life for the children in its care.

According to Just the News, Homes for Black Children was founded in 1969 in an attempt to reduce the number of black children in the foster care system. HBC has provided adoption services to more than 2,000 children since it was founded.

Now, the facility will be forced to close by the state due to lack of external funding.

The closure closely follows Michigan Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s veto of a Republican effort to win more funding for adoption agencies. The measure would have made $25.5 million available for organizations like HBC across the state.

MDHHS Public Information Officer Bob Wheaton said the “significant financial instability at this agency over the last four years threatens its ability to manage the cases of vulnerable children.”

“At times the agency has been unable to pay foster parents promptly, which could affect the financial support they need to provide for the children in their care,” he continued. “Debt is greater than what can be offset, and the agency has shown large deficits every fiscal year since 2017.”

HBC has argued that the closure is unnecessary and that their finances have improved after an operational overhaul. President and CEO Jacquelynn Moffett said the organization had made a profit of $70,000 in 2021; however, the state was not convinced.

After the closing was announced, Moffett’s daughter, Alex Moffett-Bateau, pointed out that after the overturn of Roe v. Wade adoption agencies would be one of the best and most necessary alternatives.

“In a post-Roe v. Wade world, it makes zero sense that politicians are pointing to adoption as an ideal alternative to abortion and yet systematically under-funding every adoption agency in the state of Michigan,” she wrote.

HBC was originally founded by the United Way and received funding from them for several years. According to the group, the support has decreased tenfold in the last few years.

Moffett stated that state funding was one of its last ways to stay afloat, stating “now our funding is state contracts in adoption and foster care.”

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