NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Incentives for Foster Care Adoptions

September 16, 2003

Financial incentives to the states to increase the rate of adoptions among children in foster care are paying off. The federal government has announced that 25 states and Puerto Rico will receive $14.9 million in financial bonuses for boosting the number of adoptions from foster care last year. The awards program was instituted as part of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997:

  • There are roughly 2 million children in foster care in any given year.
  • Nationwide, about the same number of foster care children were adopted in 2002 as in 2001 -- nearly 51,000.
  • The number of adoptees in the states receiving bonuses increased by 3,703 in 2002.

Each state that qualifies for the bonuses will receive $4,000 per child adopted over its previous high and could receive an additional $2,000 for each adopted child with special needs. President Bush's 2004 budget includes a proposal to extend the incentives program to include adoptions of children ages 9 and older, who are less likely to be adopted from foster care.

Source: "States Get Bonuses for Foster Adoptions," A Better Life, USA Today, September 16, 2003.


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