Children can spend months or years in foster care waiting for a permanent home, particularly those who are older or have special needs. The federal Adoption Incentive Program helps by giving states money to promote adoptions of children in foster care. But the program will expire next month unless Congress acts.
The House has already passed a bill to reauthorize the program. A Senate bill sponsored by Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley is scheduled to be considered Sept. 10.
In Massachusetts, there are some 2,600 foster-care children who could be adopted. Three-quarters already live with families who are waiting to adopt them. But the rest are looking for homes. Many are children who are older, have special needs, or are part of large sibling groups.