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Although foster care is an important safety net for some children, it was intended to be a temporary arrangement. Children have a better opportunity for growing and developing when they are living with a safe family on a permanent basis. Reunifying children with their families from foster care is a top priority for case workers, however, when that is not possible, federal statute directs that children should be placed with permanent families through adoption or guardianship.

Adotions from Foster Care are supported by the goverment in two ways: 

Adoption Assistance - Created by the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (Public Law 105-89), federal adoption assistance is offered to some special needs children when they are adopted from foster care. Currently, the adoption assistance is available only when the special needs children come from birth families who were poor enough to have qualified for welfare benefits under income eligibility standards of 1996, or the child meets the disability and income standards of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, which requires that the child have a significant disability and be low income. The Adoption Equality Act of 2007 would help promote the adoption of foster children with special needs by removing the requirement that an income eligibility determination be made, making all children in foster care who meet the definition of “special needs” eligible for critically important federal adoption assistance.

Adoption Incentives - Also created by the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (Public Law 105-89), the adoption incentives program was designed to promote and increase the number of adoptions from foster care, by rewarding states that continued to better their adoption numbers each year. In 1997, there were 31,000 adoptions from foster care nationwide. A year after the program was created, that number grew to nearly 47,000 adoptions. In 2006, approximately 51,000 children were adopted from our nation’s foster care system. The federal government authorizes approximately $43 million for the program each year, but because of the structure of earning the incentives, just 19 states were able to claim bonuses in 2006 for just over $7 million. The program expires September 20, 2008.

Relevant Legislation:

* The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act (H.R. 6893)

* The Adoption Equality Act (S. 1462 / H.R. 4091) * The Improved Adoption Incentives and Relative Guardianship Support Act (S. 3038)

* The Fostering Connections to Success Act (H.R. 6307) * The Invest in Kids Act (H.R. 5466)

* The Tribal Foster Care and Adoption Access Act of 2007 (S. 1956 / H.R. 4688)

Dec 26, 2008 By FC Steve


Anonymous's picture

Anonymous (not verified) said:

I just read this and dont know if you will check the answer since you posted so long ago. But even if you cant adopt him, maybe it would help him to know how you cared. Could you write a letter and give it to the caseworker ask to have it put in his file, that you cared for him for 2 1/2 years and would welcome him back. If he is adopted into another family, would you be willing to be involved as respite care or godparents or any other role? If so put it in writing and ask her to pass it on to them or put it in his chart. Maybe if they need babysitting help, or even later on if he sees the file, it will let him know how you cared! Legally they cant tell you anything about where the little one is but that doesnt mean you can;t try to let the new family know. Then if they choose to contact you they;ll know how. Whomever adopts him would be lucky to hear how he was as a baby and maybe you can pass on some stories and photos to give him a fuller life. Best wishes!!!

adeyemi's picture

adeyemi (not verified) said:

Well I have tried talking to the caseworker and she said the only way to get him back is if the other party dose not adopted him. She said it was too late. Thank you and God Bless.

georgewhite11's picture

georgewhite11 (not verified) said:


georgewhite11's picture

georgewhite11 (not verified) said:

it is really not much you can do it is now a matter of who is a better fit. Since the child is unable to make the decision on his own about who he wants to live with you should talk it over with the childs case worker on the other party who is interested in the adoption and see if you can work something out.

FC Steve's picture

FC Steve (not verified) said:

I suggest speaking directly with the case worker on this, as they would probably be best resource for outline your option. Sorry I don't have any better advise than that. Every situation is different.

adeyemi's picture

adeyemi (not verified) said:

Hello, i would like information on adoption.
We had a foster child in our care for 2 and 1/2 yrs. At the time we were trying to adopted our other foster child, and they found a family for the 2 and 1/2 yr old and he was moved. My question is can we get him back? This other family wants to adopted him but we really would like too, but i dont know if there is anything we can do or how to go about doing it. Please help.