If your state or provincial adoption assistance program is facing cuts from policy makers or you think the program is not doing enough to help children and families, you can make a difference!
We at NACAC are committed to ensuring that children adopted from foster care have the support they need to succeed in their adoptive families. We have created an advocacy toolkit and identified other resources to help parents and professionals work to improve or protect adoption assistance/adoption subsidy programs in their communities.
Advocates like you have been instrumental in protecting adoption assistance programs and in enhancing the benefits provided. Together we can ensure these programs are in place to support children and promote adoption!
Adoption Assistance Makes a Difference
Adoption assistance is an important tool to encourage the adoption of children and youth in foster care who cannot return home.
In a survey by Children’s Rights, 81 percent of pre-adoptive and adoptive parents said that adoption assistance was important to their decision to adopt, and 58 percent said they could not adopt a foster child without this support that helps them meet the child’s special needs. The same study cited inadequate subsidy support as one of the two most critical barriers to adopting from foster care.
A lack of adoption assistance seriously affects a child’s ability to find a permanent family.
Research shows that post-placement support—including adoption assistance—is a key factor in many families’ decision to adopt children who have special needs. Authors who analyzed state data noted that “[a]doption subsidies are perhaps the most important tool by which the child welfare system can encourage adoption and support adoptive families.”
Adoption assistance is cost-effective.
An analysis of state data demonstrated that the 50,000 adoptions from foster care each year save from $1 billion to $6 billion in government funds. The same report estimates that supported adoptions cost less than half of what it would have cost to support the child in foster care.
Another study found that each dollar spent on an adoption from foster care saves about three dollars in public and private costs. This analysis showed that each adoption saved from $190,000 to $235,000 in public costs, and even more in private costs.
Resources to Help You Fight to Improve Adoption Assistance in Your Community:
- NACAC’s Adoption Assistance Advocacy Toolkit — includes an advocacy fact sheet, key research, talking points, advocacy strategies, and much more
- The Vital Role of Adoption Subsidies: Increasing Permanency and Improving Children’s Lives (While Saving States Money) — a publication from NACAC and the Donaldson Adoption Institute
Other resources to help advocates fight proposed cuts to adoption assistance benefits — compiled by NACAC and the Donaldson Adoption Institute
- NACAC’s The Value of Subsidies: Helping Children Find Permanent Families — a 2008 report on adoption assistance and its value to children, families, and governments
- Raising the Cut-Off: The Empirical Case for Extending Adoption and Guardianship Subsidies from Age 18 to 21 by Mary Eschelbach Hansen and Josh Gupta-Kagan
- Ending the Foster Care Life Sentence—The Critical Need for Adoption Subsidies: A Survey of Adoptive and Pre-Adoptive Parents — a publication of Children’s Rights
For more information, please contact NACAC at 800-470-6665, 651-644-3036, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.