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July/August 2013Vol. 14, No. 6Funding the Adoption Incentives Program

Recognizing the importance of permanency options for children who cannot return home because of child abuse or neglect, the Federal Government has funded Adoption Incentive Awards since 1997 to reward States that increase the number of adoptions from foster care. This program is set to expire on September 30, 2013, prompting a new report on the program from the Congressional Research Service (CRS). The report, written by Emilie Stoltzfus, provides an overview of the Adoption Incentive Awards, describes the plan for the reauthorization of this program, and summarizes the issues associated with its reauthorization.

Since its authorization as part of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, over $375 million in Adoption Incentive funds have been awarded to all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. In its fiscal year 2014 budget request, the Obama administration calls for the reauthorization of the program and proposes requiring States to spend Adoption Incentive funds on "trauma-informed services to improve social and emotional well-being of children waiting for adoption or those having achieved adoption."

The report's appendices provide a summary of the incentives earned by each State, lists the number of adoptions by each State, and lists the number of children awaiting adoption in each State.

Child Welfare: Structure and Funding of the Adoption Incentives Program Along With Reauthorization Issues is available on the Federation of American Scientists website: (512 KB)

Related Item

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) produced a publication graphing the Federal expenditures on Foster Care Assistance, Adoption Assistance, and Guardianship Assistance. The Snapshot of Foster Care, Adoption Assistance, and Guardianship Assistance is available on the CBO website: