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Adoption in the US Congress

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  1. Adoption in the US Congress Kathleen Strottman March 4, 2011

  2. A look back: Foster Care Adoption • 1980 – Adoption Assistance Program, Remove barrier to foster parent adoption (FY 2008, 400,000 families, 2 billion) • 1996, President Clinton issues Presidential directive, with goal of doubling the number of children adopted out of foster care by year 2002. (1996: 28,000 2002: 48,988) • 1997, ASFA changes landscape – sets first ever time limits on family reunification. • Adoption tax credit (1996, 2001, 2010) • Adoption incentive program • Adopt US Kids • Waiver Program

  3. A look ahead: Foster Care Adoption • Process Barriers • Needs of children waiting for adoption – of the 122,999 children waiting in FY 2008, 51,507 were over 9. • PRIOR RELATIONSHIP to Adoptive Parent:Foster Parent – 64% vs. 54%; Non-Relative – 20% vs. 16%; Relative - 16% vs. 30% • Family Reunification and APPLA • 463,000 in care in 2008(down from 523,000 in 2002) • 52 percent reunified (down from 57% in 2002)

  4. International Adoption

  5. Barriers to Adoption Outside US • Lack of necessary infrastructures – social services, legal • Over reliance on institutional care • Lack of understanding and acceptance of adoption • Corruption and reactions to corruption

  6. ASFA – New Standard • Child in Foster Care for 15 of 22 months must have parental rights terminated unless – • Child is being cared for by relative • There is a compelling reason. • Reasonable efforts have not been provided to birth parents. • Reasonable efforts: ‘‘(B) except as provided in subparagraph (D), reasonable efforts shall be made to preserve and reunify families— ‘‘(i) prior to the placement of a child in foster care, to prevent or eliminate the need for removing the child from the child’s home; and ‘‘(ii) to make it possible for a child to safely return to the child’s home;

  7. Principle of Subsidiarity • Recognising that the child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding, • Recalling that each State should take, as a matter of priority, appropriate measures to enable the child to remain in the care of his or her family of origin, • Recognising that intercountry adoption may offer the advantage of a permanent family to a child for whom a suitable family cannot be found in his or her State of origin,