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Home > Advocacy > Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) Files Improved Adoption Incentives and Relative Guardianship Support Act (S. 3038)


Improved Adoption Incentives and Relative Guardianship Support Act of 2008


Adoption Improvements

Extension and re-basing of the Adoption Incentive Program
  • Extends through 2013

  • Establishes a new base year (2007) for the Adoption Incentive program - this is needed because after a significant initial increase in adoptions, a number of states can no longer receive the incentive.

  • Increases payments to states for finalizing adoptions, exceeding the number in 2007, of children in foster care, with payments targeted toward adoptions of special needs children as defined by the state ages 9 and younger and children over age 9.

  • Creates an additional payment for states that exceed the state's highest rate of all adoptions from foster care.
De-link eligibility for Adoption Assistance, making all children with special needs eligible for federal adoption assistance. Under current law, only children removed from families meeting the 1996 AFDC income standard are eligible for adoption assistance, resulting in a steady erosion of federal support of adoptions of special needs children.

Improved Permanency Options

Relative Guardianship Support
  • Establishes a new pathway for permanence by allowing states to receive federal reimbursement for payments made to legal relative guardians caring for children who would otherwise be in foster care. For these children, courts have already ruled out reunification and adoption.

  • Establishes a broad range of information and notification requirements for relatives once a child has been placed in care.

  • Allows unobligated funds from the Adoption Incentive program to be made available to states that adopt the Relative Guardianship option and successfully help children leave foster care for permanent homes with relatives.

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