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June 2000Vol. 1, No. 4Database Tracks State Legislation Related to ASFA

Search the database of the National Conference of State Legislatures for summaries of State legislation enacted in response to the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) (

In the process of researching State legislation related to children and families for an annual publication, NCSL staff culls statutes pertaining to ASFA to include in the database. The database, which has been available for over a year, currently reflects legislation enacted in the 1999 legislative session.

"There were a few States that were somewhat in compliance before ASFA passed, such as California, Utah, Illinois, and Rhode Island and who subsequently didn't have to make as many changes as other States," said Steve Christian of the National Conference of State Legislatures. His staff is currently beginning the annual review process of legislation that was enacted in the 2000 legislative session. Any amendments relevant to ASFA will be uploaded to the database throughout the summer and fall.

Information has been collected from all 50 States and the District of Columbia on legislation addressing the following topic areas:

  • Permanency hearings and concurrent permanency planning
  • Adoption across State lines
  • Assurances of child safety
  • Clarification of reasonable efforts to reunify
  • Termination of parental rights
  • Criminal records checks
  • Health insurance for special needs children
  • Notice requirements of hearings related to a foster child
  • Effective date of State legislation implementing ASFA.

A master matrix of ASFA provisions by State is also available at:

NCSL receives funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to support the database. For questions or comments about the database, contact Steve Christian at the National Conference of State Legislatures, 303-830-2200.