Wednesday, February 13, 2008

NACAC Seeks Support for the Adoption Equality Act

Originally introduced in May 2007 by Senator John D. Rockefeller (D-WV), the Adoption Equality Act (S 1462/HR 4091) gained a companion bill when Representative Jim Cooper (D-TN) introduced the House version on November 6. Aimed at promoting adoptions from care, the bill would remove the link between a birth family’s income and their child’s eligibility for federal Title IV-E adoption assistance. All children with special needs who are adopted from foster care would then be eligible for subsidies.

Tying federal assistance for children to the income of birth parents whose legal rights have been severed makes no sense. And as fewer children have access to federal subsidies, states will have to shoulder the burden of supporting adoptive families alone. In some cases, this will lead to more limited adoption assistance benefits, which may make a child less likely to be adopted or less likely to have the support she needs in a new adoptive family. When states receive reduced federal support it may also result in cuts to other necessary child welfare programs or services.

NACAC has long championed de-linking income from eligibility, and is seeking nationwide support for this legislation. If your agency, group, or organization would like to help ensure that more children receive federal adoption assistance, please contact Mary Boo at or 651-644-3036 to learn how you can help.

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