Foolish or Flawed? The Federal Adoption Incentives Program

The Orphan Trade

In 1997, in response to the growing crisis of older children languishing away in, and aging out of, foster care, President Clinton created the Federal Adoption Incentives Program which is an annual performance bonus awarded to states that facilitate the most adoptions of children out of the foster care system.

The amount of the award would be calculated based on the type of adoption facilitated and the change in numbers from 2007 to the current year.

  • $4,000 for overall adoptions of foster youth
  • $4,000 for foster youth that were identified as “special needs”
  • $8,000 for foster youth between ages 9 and 18 years old.

To determine the amount of the bonus the state would receive, 2007 numbers would be compared to the current years numbers and the difference would be multiplied by the dollar amount shown above.

For example: Let’s say Missouri successfully facilitated 150 adoptions out of the foster…

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