States are rewarded for adoptions via foster care

September 15, 2009

A total of 38 states will receive $38 million in incentives from HHS because of their efforts to raise the number of foster care-related adoptions.

A total of 38 states, as well as Puerto Rico, will receive $38 million overall in incentives from the the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) because of their efforts to raise the number of foster care-related adoptions. The HHS program is designed to advance adoption possibilities of abused and neglected children.

The Adoption Incentives program, which falls under the umbrella of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, initially was created to spur states to increase their numbers of children who were adopted from foster care. The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 helped to overhaul the adoption incentives program to boost financial rewards for states, again with the ultimate goal of placing more children, especially older or special needs children, from foster care.

The 2008 law also added an "adoption rate" clause, which basically compares the present year's adoption numbers to the number of children who were in foster care at the close of the previous year. More money is given to states that go beyond their highest foster child adoption rate for previous years dating to 2002.

States are awarded $4,000 per foster child adopted beyond the 2007 baseline; another $8,000 is given for each child age nine and older and $4,000 extra for every other special needs child who is adopted beyond the baseline numbers. There’s another $1,000 bonus for every foster child who is adopted beyond the state's highest foster child adoption rate for past years.

For incentive award amounts per state, visit the Adoption Incentive Awards page.