NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

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.


Browse more articles on Tax and Spending Issues