Adoptions Increased Last Year
September 11, 2001
A federal program that encourages states to increase the number of adoptions of children in foster care seems to be working, judging by rising adoption numbers.
- Nearly 50,000 foster children were adopted in fiscal 2000 -- up from 46,000 in 1999.
- Under the 1997 Adoption and Safe Families Act, states receive $4,000 to $6,000 per adoption if they exceed the number for the previous year.
- Thirty-five states and the District of Columbia increased their adoptions last year -- and will split around $11 million in federal bonuses.
- Before the law passed, only 28,000 adoptions of foster care children had ever been finalized.
The program, which has been funded at $305 million a year, will run out of funds this fiscal year. A House bill, in line with a White House proposal, increases that to $505 million a year for five years.
Roughly 134,000 children in foster care are free for adoption at present. Experts say that older children are the most difficult to place.
Source: Cheryl Wetzstein, "D.C., 35 States Rewarded for Increasing Adoptions," Washington Times, September 11, 2001.
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