Advocacy: Adoption Subsidies

Increasing Permanency and Improving Children's Lives

As part of its "Keeping the Promise" initiative, the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute is launching a nationwide effort – in partnership with the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) – to preserve an essential tool for enabling children and youth to move from foster care into permanent, loving, successful families: state funding for adoption subsidies.

More than 104,000 girls and boys are waiting in the U.S. child welfare system to be adopted by parents who will give them a lifetime of love and support, and will meet their sometimes challenging needs. Federal law aims to promote their adoption in part by requiring states to provide subsidies to parents adopting children with special needs, thereby removing financial barriers that too-often prevent families from being able to address the basic needs of caring for children, as well as giving their sons and daughters the medical, academic and other necessities they require.

When states experience budget shortfalls, they frequently decrease child welfare spending, including by limiting adoption subsidy amounts and/or restricting eligibility. To counter this trend, the Adoption Institute and NACAC have created advocacy materials for parents, professionals and other activists to use at the state level. These resources include:

As part of this campaign, the Institute and NACAC are seeking feedback from adoptive parents and child welfare professionals about the specific need for adoption subsidies in their states and any proposed limits to those subsidies, as well as their experiences educating lawmakers’ offices. To provide input, ask questions or offer suggestions, please send an email to [email protected].

This effort is one component of a national initiative by the Adoption Institute – based on its groundbreaking report, "Keeping the Promise: The Critical Need for Post-Adoption Services to Enable Children and Families to Succeed" – intended to increase the number of children and youth adopted from foster care and to enhance the success of their families. The Institute has also formed the Coalition for National Development of Adoption Support and Preservation Services (ASAP), which is composed of major adoption and child welfare organizations that will provide strategic leadership, education and advocacy to promote the development and utilization of ASAP Services nationally. The Institute’s partner in this initiative, NACAC, has long been a leader in advocating for children in care and the families who adopt them.