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Ferdinand v. Department for Children and Their Families

United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island
768 F. Supp. 401 (D.R.I. 1991)


Facts

Rose Ferdinand (plaintiff) adopted her daughter, Nia, through the Department for Children and Their Families of the State of Rhode Island (DCF) (defendant). Prior to the finalization of the adoption, DCF had some minimal discussion with Ferdinand about adoption subsidies that were available for children with special needs, but Ferdinand indicated that she did not need a subsidy at that time. DCF never formally offered Ferdinand a subsidy or fully explained the assistance program to Ferdinand. After the adoption was finalized, Ferdinand and her husband divorced, and Ferdinand was left to care for Nia with no child support. At that time, Ferdinand applied for adoption assistance from DCF. However, DCF denied Ferdinand’s application, because she had not accepted the subsidy when the adoption was finalized. Ferdinand petitioned the court for an injunction to order DCF to approve her subsidy request.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Pettine, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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