- November 2005
- Vol. 6, No. 9
Adoption Bonuses Awarded to States
On September 20, 2005, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced awards of $14.5 million to 24 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico for increasing the number of children adopted from foster care in fiscal year 2004. ACF provides an incentive payment to States that completed more adoptions in 2004 than in the baseline year (the higher year of 2002 or 2003). Payments are also given for increases in the adoption of older children and for children identified by the State as having special needs. Each State receives $4,000 for every child adopted beyond its best year's total, plus $4,000 for every child aged 9 and older and $2,000 for every child identified by the State as having special needs who is adopted above the baseline year. Florida received the largest award at almost $3.5 million.
"These awards recognize the substantial progress States are making in finding permanent adoptive families for children in foster care," said Wade F. Horn, Ph.D., HHS Assistant Secretary for Children and Families. "The incentives awarded for older children are particularly important, because about half the children in foster care are at least 9 years old and are at risk of aging out of foster care with no ties to a permanent, loving family."
The adoption incentive awards were originally enacted as part of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 and were extended and expanded to focus on older youth by the Adoption Promotion Act of 2003. Each year, about 51,000 children nationwide are adopted from foster care.