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WIC question -- more of a morality issue than a financial one - Page 2

post #21 of 60
WIC must vary a lot from region to region. I know folks who love it and folks who'd literally rather hit the food bank than sign up again, and they all seem like reasonable folks who'd be willing to jump through reasonable hoops...
post #22 of 60

If I had the money, as it sounds like you do, and I planned on adopting the baby, I wouldn't be comfortable spending tax dollars on my baby. It's MY baby and MY responsibility, not the taxpayers.

 

That said, we did take the adoption tax credit. Somehow that felt different to me. I guess it's because we weren't talking basic care here, we were talking extraordinary expenses that an average (biological) parent wouldn't have to pay. But everyone feeds their baby.

 

So, I guess you have to figure what your inner moral compass says. 

post #23 of 60

Because you are looking at adopting through the foster care system, and unfortunately, adoptions frequently end up not going through (a family member is found or parents get baby back), I would take the help until the adoption is finalized.

post #24 of 60

That's what my DH says, too. 

post #25 of 60

We are on WIC.  Until a year, you get baby food, cereal, and formula.  We took the first two and declined the formula.  I always felt kind of guilty declining the formula since I could've donated it, but I felt weird accepting it since it would've meant lying about breastfeeding!  We gave the cereal and baby food to our neighbors (well, we ate some of the baby food since the fruit ones are tasty, but gave most of it away).  After a year, you get vouchers for fruits & veggies (which we always use), and coupons for some things we use (whole wheat bread, beans, rice, cereal) and one that we give away (milk).  I never thought it was unethical.  Never even occurred to me that sharing was unethical, though I understand it goes against the rules.  Some ethics are beyond rules.  Some of the jarred baby food went to our women's shelter.  I think maybe it would've been unethical to NOT pass it along.  Just a thought.

 

I know tons of people who could qualify for WIC or SNAP (food stamps) who won't apply.  Whether it's the stigma or the b.s. you have to put up with for receiving assistance, I don't know.


Edited by McGucks - 6/28/11 at 11:05am
post #26 of 60

FYI - WIC is just as much a farm subsidy (it is run by the USDA, after all) as it is a help to people who qualify.  It is a creative way to package a subsidy, but in the end, it's a subsidy.  Knowing that may blur some of the morality issue.

 

Depending on what state you live in, your exact food package will differ, as will your experience at your local WIC office.  (Having been on WIC in three states, I can tell you that the experience not only differs from state to state, but from local office to local office.)  I'd certainly use it for the formula - as others have mentioned, the biomom and/or CPS would have to approve breastmilk to be given to a child while in foster care.  You don't have to get everything on the vouchers if it makes you feel like you are stealing.

post #27 of 60

I just consider it part of the foster care subsidy package. I wouldn't turn down the monthly stipend and at times I go to the WIC office. In fact, I was just there this morning. I got $30 in fruit/veggie vouchers that have to be spent this month (the $6 regular voucher plus $24 to "spend" at the farmer's market.)

post #28 of 60

Haven't read through entire thread, but I don't think it is a morality issue to take stuff from WIC and give it to someone who needs it.  However, I don't see the point either, because you're just moving around "assistance" and it seems like a lot of work without any payoff.  If you are giving it to a shelter, 99% of the women there are already receiving WIC (and I am pretty certain of this having worked in social services). 

 

Be careful with the breastmilk.  I understand your desire for the baby to receive breastmilk and the benefits, but your social worker might be VERY angry about this and this could potentially be a licensing issue in which your license could be revoked.  Many people would view this as a serious health issue for you to give the baby breastmilk from someone who hasn't been tested/approved.  Could you arrange for this mother to do this?  You need to remember that you aren't the legal guardian of this child and the legal guardian is to be making choices like this.  If they are on board, great.  If not, you're setting yourself up for a potentially heartbreaking situation for you. 

post #29 of 60

Oh, and I just wanted to add that I would *not* feel guilty about any of the assistance you receive under your foster care license.  There are a billion uses for the money which can benefit your child, even if you don't "need" that money. 

post #30 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by SundayCrepes View Post

If I had the money, as it sounds like you do, and I planned on adopting the baby, I wouldn't be comfortable spending tax dollars on my baby. It's MY baby and MY responsibility, not the taxpayers.

 

That said, we did take the adoption tax credit. Somehow that felt different to me. I guess it's because we weren't talking basic care here, we were talking extraordinary expenses that an average (biological) parent wouldn't have to pay. But everyone feeds their baby.

 

The thing is: a foster child is NOT your baby.  And when it IS your baby, you will no longer qualify for these benefits.  Until the adoption is final, you are caring for someone else's baby; and these things are to pay for that care.  Sorry, but the reality is that until the case plan goal becomes "adoption", there is no way to know if you will ever adopt a foster child--no matter how seemingly impossible reunification looks.  Countless things happen.  And even when the case plan is changed, you still have a chance at it not being YOUR adoption.

 

These benefits are essentially your compensation and reimbursement for caring for the child as an employee of the state.  Period.  You will certainly LOVE that child like your own; but please don't look at supporting them and buying their things as your responsibility because "they're going to be" your child.  They may never be your child.  And if you start framing your mind to act like they are before they actually are--and then they leave... then what?  How much resentment will you feel?  If not the first time it happens, then the second, third or fourth...? 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

Oh, and I just wanted to add that I would *not* feel guilty about any of the assistance you receive under your foster care license.  There are a billion uses for the money which can benefit your child, even if you don't "need" that money. 


yeahthat.gif   Maybe not in the first few weeks, but it all catches up.

 

 

Last, if I'm not mistaken, California allows foster kids to consume breastmilk.  Not positive, but I think so.  That being said, it's the ONLY state where there appears to even be a possibility.  My ped in NJ actually went to court on behalf of a failure-to-thrive foster infant with an able nursing foster mother and a willing birthmother... and the state won.  The ped said that the amount of misinformation the court relied on was astounding and appalling, but they outnumbered the correct info (as usual).  So don't bank on winning that battle.  My son nursed until he was 5yo.  My daughter was (and still is) ffd.  She is way better attached and more developmentally on target than he could've ever hoped to be at her age.  And equally healthy.  Go figure.

post #31 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by heatherdeg View Post

The thing is: a foster child is NOT your baby.  And when it IS your baby, you will no longer qualify for these benefits.  Until the adoption is final, you are caring for someone else's baby; and these things are to pay for that care.  Sorry, but the reality is that until the case plan goal becomes "adoption", there is no way to know if you will ever adopt a foster child--no matter how seemingly impossible reunification looks.  Countless things happen.  And even when the case plan is changed, you still have a chance at it not being YOUR adoption.

 

These benefits are essentially your compensation and reimbursement for caring for the child as an employee of the state.  Period.  You will certainly LOVE that child like your own; but please don't look at supporting them and buying their things as your responsibility because "they're going to be" your child.  They may never be your child.  And if you start framing your mind to act like they are before they actually are--and then they leave... then what?  How much resentment will you feel?  If not the first time it happens, then the second, third or fourth...? 

 

All true. Perhaps I misread the op. I thought it was a for sure thing they would adopt.

 

post #32 of 60
Thread Starter 

Heather, you are right. I was assuming that we would have the same situation we had with DS, which isn't really all that likely. I will have to keep in mind that this time, it WILL be a "real" foster situation, so I will do everything I need to do for the child, even if it's standing in line at a WIC office. There will likely be no "extra" at the time, but if we actually feel we've come out ahead once the adoption is final, we will make it up to the child in a savings account like we did for DS. I remember when he came to us, he had a HUGE bag of clothes, but most of it he'd outgrown already. I bought him clothes with the initial stipend and put the rest away for him. I'll do better with the next child and keep track of what we get for him/her, and actually spend it on clothes and toys that s/he can take with him/her if s/he doesn't get to stay.

 

As for the breastfeeding, (not sure if I already said this, but I'll say it again), I wouldn't do it if it wasn't okay. DS was on formula for 18 months and he's the healthiest kid I know, so I'm really not all that worried about formula. I'd just like to do better for the baby if I can, and since we have a good source right in our neighborhood, I figured it would be easy. I didn't realize/remember when I first posted that it is usually a huge issue and not likely to happen.

post #33 of 60

The stipend isn't just for clothing and toys. It's supposed to cover everything. I have absolutely no problem using stipend money to go toward household expenses, family activities, and stuff like that. Clothing and toys are just a small piece of that. I would never spend all (or most) of the stipend on "things." The stipends (and now my kids post-adoption stipends) go into the family pot of money. My kids have nice clothes (way too many,) toys (including tons of Magna-Tiles,) take all kinds of classes (dance, gymnastics, art, whatever they are interested in,) and spending money when appropriate. The stipend comes to me, not to the child.

post #34 of 60
Thread Starter 

I don't want to get into personal finances, but that mystifies me. We got a whopping $40/month for DS when he was a baby. (I'm talking babies here, b/c we're hoping to foster/adopt a child under 2.) It may have been a little more ($50? $60 at best?) when he was tiny, but went down to under $40 by the time he was 18 months. His initial clothing allowance was $100, which more than covered his clothes for a few months, but I just don't see how that can cover disposable diapers, clothes every few months (especially shoes once they start walking -- and at that age the stipend drops), age-appropriate toys (especially b/c I don't want to buy a lot of toxic plastic garbage, even for a child who won't be staying with us), and whatever else the child needs. And yeah, once DS was 18 months, he did start classes that weren't free, etc. The stipend wouldn't even cover one of those classes, let alone also cover clothing and diapers for him.

 

So when I say "clothing and diapers" that's b/c that's all I see it being good for, if that. I have no concept of how anyone thinks they can foster for money and use the stipends for their family. It's not even enough to cover the kid(s) they're taking in!

post #35 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by swd12422 View Post

So when I say "clothing and diapers" that's b/c that's all I see it being good for, if that. I have no concept of how anyone thinks they can foster for money and use the stipends for their family. It's not even enough to cover the kid(s) they're taking in!



Some states have stipends up to $2000/month. Even in states where there are stipends that are that large, they typically only go to families with foster children/adoptive children who require an enormous amount of care.  I have seen it used really frivolously however in a few cases because it is really at the discretion of the social worker setting the rate.  I have never heard of a stipend as low as $40/month.  wow.  I've been out of the adoption/foster care world for a couple years now but when I left I want to say the very lowest stipend in my state was $300+ a month. 

 

post #36 of 60

Where I live it is over $300

post #37 of 60

Agreed--I've never heard of a stipend of $40/month.  That doesn't EVEN cover diapers.  :O  In NJ, the lowest foster rate is about $700, but in many parts of the state, the daycare voucher doesn't cover the cost of daycare--so a chunk of that goes to cover what the voucher doesn't (assuming you need daycare).

 

That being said, the rate doesn't really change much as the kids get older.  If you're a SAHP fostering an infant, there's money left over.  On the flip side, if your fostering ages 8 or up, you'll be short each month.  We wound up taking both simultaneously and it was about a wash.  I believe NJ was ranked (as a state) the highest COL in the country--neck and neck with Mass.  There are parts of every state that will have insane COLs, but this was state as a whole.  Even so, there are a few states with higher foster monthly stipends.  I can't think of which ones off the top of my head, but they're out there.  Although to APToddlerMama's reference of $2,000/mo, I'm part of a national foster parent board and have never heard of a state paying that amount monthly for regular foster care.  Those rates are generally for therapeutic or medically fragile (which is a broad term that doesn't always equate to the severity it sounds like) placements.

 

Were you licensed for foster care when you received $40/month?  Was the baby a ward of the state?

post #38 of 60
Thread Starter 

We weren't licensed for foster care, we were certified to adopt. He was a ward of the state, on state medical insurance, etc. I knew our monthly stipend was lower than "normal" b/c by the time he was placed with us, adoption was the plan, not reunification. But I had no idea it was THAT much lower than for "regular" foster care. I have no idea what that number will look like (probably closer to $300 or less than to $2000), and now I'm not sure if that raises even more questions in my mind about using it, or less, knowing that it will be more of a help for "extras" like activities or whatever else the child wants/needs.

post #39 of 60

Also in my state that $300 in in addition to medicaid, food stamps, daycare of they need it.

post #40 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by heatherdeg View Post

 Although to APToddlerMama's reference of $2,000/mo, I'm part of a national foster parent board and have never heard of a state paying that amount monthly for regular foster care.  Those rates are generally for therapeutic or medically fragile (which is a broad term that doesn't always equate to the severity it sounds like) placements.

Yes, sorry if I didn't make that clear.  Always a treatment foster situation or one that is essentially comparable, but just that the family might not actually be licensed TFC, but may be caring for a child with significant needs, medical or otherwise. 

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