SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home

ADOPTION INCENTIVE PAYMENTS

Sec473A[42 U.S.C. 673b] (a) Grant Authority.—Subject to the availability of such amounts as may be provided in advance in appropriations Acts for this purpose, the Secretary shall make a grant to each State that is an incentive-eligible State for a fiscal year in an amount equal to the adoption incentive payment payable to the State under this section for the fiscal year, which shall be payable in the immediately succeeding fiscal year.

(b) Incentive–Eligible State.—A State is an incentive-eligible State for a fiscal year if—

(1) the State has a plan approved under this part for the fiscal year;

(2)(A) the number of foster child adoptions in the State during the fiscal year exceeds the base number of foster child adoptions for the State for the fiscal year;

(B) the number of older child adoptions in the State during the fiscal year exceeds the base number of older child adoptions for the State for the fiscal year; or

(C) the State’s foster child adoption rate for the fiscal year exceeds the highest ever foster child adoption rate determined for the State;

(3) the State is in compliance with subsection (c) for the fiscal year;

(4) the State provides health insurance coverage to any child with special needs (as determined under section 473(c)) for whom there is in effect an adoption assistance agreement between a State and an adoptive parent or parents; and

(5) the fiscal year is any of fiscal years 2008 through 2012.

(c) Data Requirements.—

(1) In general.—A State is in compliance with this subsection for a fiscal year if the State has provided to the Secretary the data described in paragraph (2)—

(A) for fiscal years 1995 through 1997 (or, if the first fiscal year for which the State seeks a grant under this section is after fiscal year 1998, the fiscal year that precedes such first fiscal year); and

(B) for each succeeding fiscal year that precedes the fiscal year.

(2) Determination of numbers of adoptions based on afcars data.—The Secretary shall determine the numbers of foster child adoptions, of special needs adoptions that are not older child adoptions, and of older child adoptions in a State during a fiscal year, and the foster child adoption rate for the state for the fiscal year for purposes of this section, on the basis of data meeting the requirements of the system established pursuant to section 479, as reported by the State and approved by the Secretary by August 1 of the succeeding fiscal year.

(3) No waiver of afcars requirements.—This section shall not be construed to alter or affect any requirement of section 479 or of any regulation prescribed under such section with respect to reporting of data by States, or to waive any penalty for failure to comply with such a requirement.

(d) Adoption Incentive Payment.—

(1) In general.—Except as provided in paragraph (2), the adoption incentive payment payable to a State for a fiscal year under this section shall be equal to the sum of—

(A) $4,000, multiplied by the amount (if any) by which the number of foster child adoptions in the State during the fiscal year exceeds the base number of foster child adoptions for the State for the fiscal year;

(B) $4,000, multiplied by the amount (if any) by which the number of special needs adoptions that are not older child adoptions in the State during the fiscal year exceeds the base number of special needs adoptions that are not older child adoptions for the State for the fiscal year; and

(C) $8,000, multiplied by the amount (if any) by which the number of older child adoptions in the State during the fiscal year exceeds the base number of older child adoptions for the State for the fiscal year.

(2) Pro rata adjustment if insufficient funds available.—For any fiscal year, if the total amount of adoption incentive payments otherwise payable under this section for a fiscal year exceeds the amount appropriated pursuant to subsection (h) for the fiscal year, the amount of the adoption incentive payment payable to each State under this section for the fiscal year shall be—

(A) the amount of the adoption incentive payment that would otherwise be payable to the State under this section for the fiscal year; multiplied by

(B) the percentage represented by the amount so appropriated for the fiscal year, divided by the total amount of adoption incentive payments otherwise payable under this section for the fiscal year.

(3) Increased incentive payment for exceeding the highest ever foster child adoption rate.—

(A) In General.—If—

(i) for fiscal year 2009 or any fiscal year thereafter the total amount of adoption incentive payments payable under paragraph (1) of this subsection are less than the amount appropriated under subsection (h) for the fiscal year; and

(ii) a State’s foster child adoption rate for that fiscal year exceeds the highest ever foster child adoption rate determined for the State, then the adoption incentive payment otherwise determined under paragraph (1) of this subsection for the State shall be increased, subject to subparagraph (C) of this paragraph, by the amount determined for the State under subparagraph (B) of this paragraph.

(B) Amount of increase.—For purposes of subparagraph (A), the amount determined under this subparagraph with respect to a State and a fiscal year is the amount equal to the product of—

(i) $1,000; and

(ii) the excess of—

(I) the number of foster child adoptions in the State in the fiscal year; over

(II) the product (rounded to the nearest whole number) of—

(aa) the highest ever foster child adoption rate determined for the State; and

(bb) the number of children in foster care under the supervision of the State on the last day of the preceding fiscal year.

(C) Pro rata adjustment if insufficient funds available.—For any fiscal year, if the total amount of increases in adoption incentive payments otherwise payable under this paragraph for a fiscal year exceeds the amount available for such increases for the fiscal year, the amount of the increase payable to each State under this paragraph for the fiscal year shall be—

(i) the amount of the increase that would otherwise be payable to the State under this paragraph for the fiscal year; multiplied by

(ii) the percentage represented by the amount so available for the fiscal year, divided by the total amount of increases otherwise payable under this paragraph for the fiscal year.

(e) 24-Month Availability of Incentive Payments.—Payments to a State under this section in a fiscal year shall remain available for use by the State for the 24-month period beginning with the month in which the payments are made.

(f) Limitations on Use of Incentive Payments.—A State shall not expend an amount paid to the State under this section except to provide to children or families any service (including post-adoption services) that may be provided under part B or E. Amounts expended by a State in accordance with the preceding sentence shall be disregarded in determining State expenditures for purposes of Federal matching payments under sections 424, 434, and 474.

(g) Definitions.—As used in this section:

(1) Foster child adoption.—The term “foster child adoption” means the final adoption of a child who, at the time of adoptive placement, was in foster care under the supervision of the State.

(2) Special needs adoption.—The term “special needs adoption” means the final adoption of a child for whom an adoption assistance agreement is in effect under section 473.

(3) Base number of foster child adoptions.—The term “base number of foster child adoptions for a State” means, with respect to any fiscal year, the number of foster child adoptions in the State in fiscal year 2007.

(4) Base number of special needs adoptions that are not older child adoptions.—The term “base number of special needs adoptions that are not older child adoptions for a State” means, with respect to any fiscal year, the number of special needs adoptions that are not older child adoptions in the State in fiscal year 2007.

(5) Base number of older child adoptions.—The term “base number of older child adoptions for a State” means, with respect to any fiscal year, the number of older child adoptions in the State in fiscal year 2007.

(6) Older child adoptions.—The term “older child adoptions” means the final adoption of a child who has attained 9 years of age if—

(A) at the time of the adoptive placement, the child was in foster care under the supervision of the State; or (B) an adoption assistance agreement was in effect under section 473 with respect to the child.

(7) Highest ever foster child adoption rate.—The term “highest ever foster child adoption rate” means, with respect to any fiscal year, the highest foster child adoption rate determined for any fiscal year in the period that begins with fiscal year 2002 and ends with the preceding fiscal year.

(8) Foster child adoption rate.—The term “foster child adoption rate” means, with respect to a State and a fiscal year, the percentage determined by dividing—

(A) the number of foster child adoptions finalized in the State during the fiscal year; by

(B) the number of children in foster care under the supervision of the State on the last day of the preceding fiscal year.

(h) Limitations on Authorization of Appropriations.—

(1) In general.—For grants under subsection (a), there are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary—

(A) $20,000,000 for fiscal year 1999;

(B) $43,000,000 for fiscal year 2000;

(C) $20,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2001 through 2003, and

(D) $43,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2004 through 2013.

(2) Availability.—Amounts appropriated under paragraph (1), or under any other law for grants under subsection (a), are authorized to remain available until expended, but not after fiscal year 2013.

(i) Technical Assistance.—

(1) In general.—The Secretary may, directly or through grants or contracts, provide technical assistance to assist States and local communities to reach their targets for increased numbers of adoptions and, to the extent that adoption is not possible, alternative permanent placements, for children in foster care.

(2) Description of the character of the technical assistance.—The technical assistance provided under paragraph (1) may support the goal of encouraging more adoptions out of the foster care system, when adoptions promote the best interests of children, and may include the following:

(A) The development of best practice guidelines for expediting termination of parental rights.

(B) Models to encourage the use of concurrent planning.

(C) The development of specialized units and expertise in moving children toward adoption as a permanency goal.

(D) The development of risk assessment tools to facilitate early identification of the children who will be at risk of harm if returned home.

(E) Models to encourage the fast tracking of children who have not attained 1 year of age into pre–adoptive placements.

(F) Development of programs that place children into pre-adoptive families without waiting for termination of parental rights.

(3) Targeting of technical assistance to the courts.—Not less than 50 percent of any amount appropriated pursuant to paragraph (4) shall be used to provide technical assistance to the courts.

(4) Limitations on authorization of appropriations.—To carry out this subsection, there are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Health and Human Services not to exceed $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2004 through 2006.