The United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recently announced the awarding of the final round of currently authorized adoption incentive payments (totaling $149 million to 25 states and Puerto Rico) for increasing the number of children adopted from state-supervised foster care in fiscal year 2002. These incentive payments, announced every year at the close of the federal fiscal year, are part of a sweeping set of reforms outlined in the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (ASFA). The enactment of ASFA was coupled with a call to double the number of adoptions from the nation's child welfare system by 2002 Our nation's child welfare system succeeded in meeting this challenge, more than doubling the number of adoptions out of foster care by 2002.
Analyzing National Performance
Using the same baselines as the federal Department of Health and Human Services used to calculate the first adoption bonuses for states' performance in 1998, Fostering Results' analysis found that a majority of the states (33 and the District of Columbia) doubled the number of adoptions from foster care in at least one of the five years between 1998 and 2002. And, by totaling the number of adoptions during the peak performance year of each state between 1998 and 2002 (58,573) and
comparing it to the total baseline used to calculate the first adoption bonuses in 1998 (28,160), this analysis shows that the change is a 108 percent increase in adoption performance for the nation as a whole.
Data from all fifty states and the District of Columbia shows that 33 states and the District of Columbia doubled the number of adoptions from foster care during the five years since the passage of the Adoption and Safe Families Act in 1997. Of these states, six tripled and 2 quadrupled their adoption performance during this period.
Several states, such as Hawaii, Illinois, North Dakota and Wyoming doubled their adoption performance over their baseline average by 1998. By 1999, Arizona, Iowa, and Texas, had also doubled their adoption performance, resulting in permanent adoptive families for more than 13,000 foster children in these seven states in just two years.