About 600 people alive today can’t have children because California’s government sterilized them either against their will or without their knowledge, and now the state is trying to find them so it can pay them at least $15,000 each in reparations.
But after a year of searching, the state has approved just 51 people for payments out of 310 applications. There’s one year left to look before the $4.5 million program shuts down and the challenges remain steep. State officials have denied 103 people, closed three incomplete applications and are processing 153 others — but they say it’s difficult to verify the applications as many records have been lost or destroyed.
Two groups of people are eligible for the money: Those sterilized by the government during the so-called eugenics movement that peaked during the 1930s and a smaller group who were victimized while in state prisons about a decade ago.
“We try to find all the information we can and sometimes we just have to hope that somebody maybe can find more detailed information on their own,” said Lynda Gledhill... see more