• June 2014
  • Vol. 15, No. 6

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Developments in State Adoption Laws

A resource from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) charts recent State legislation to expedite and streamline the adoption process. The legislative trends noted by author Nina Williams-Mbengue include eliminating certain requirements such as home study requirements for relatives adopting children; foster care licensure for prospective adoptive parents; and requirements that the adoptive child live in the adoptive home for specified time periods. Other strategies to expedite and streamline or otherwise improve the adoption process reflected in recent State legislation include expanding intra-family adoptions, allowing expedited adoption orders, providing maternity and paternity leave for adoptive parents, and requiring trauma-informed training for adoptive parents.

The chart State Legislation to Expedite and Streamline the Adoption Process 2008–2013 is available on the NCSL website:

http://www.ncsl.org/research/human-services/ncsl-streamlining-adoption-legislation-2008-2013.aspx

In another resource from NCSL, State Legislation to Provide Adoption and Post-Adoption Supports, Subsidies and Tax Credits 2005–2013, Williams-Mbengue tracks State legislation to provide adoption and postadoption supports, subsidies, and tax credits. The legislation includes expanding and increasing adoption payments and subsidies, increasing adoption tax credits, creating sliding-scale fees for adoptions based on the income of the prospective adoptive parent, extending adoption assistance, expanding the eligibility of children for postadoption assistance and support, and requiring departments of child welfare to provide information on adoption tax credits to adoptive parents (which is now a Federal requirement).

This chart also is available on the NCSL website:

http://www.ncsl.org/research/human-services/ncsl-adoption-support-and-subsidy-legislation-2005-2013.aspx

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