In late February the Adoption Incentive Funds narrowly escaped expiration. When the word got out that the funds were expiring, the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition sprung into action along with other Missouri agencies. They started a call campaign to make the public aware of what was happening. Local news outlets shared stories of families who have directly benefitted from programs that receive such funding. As a result of their efforts, over 1,200 local foster and adoptive parents, volunteers, and donors called Missouri Senator Roy Blunt’s office. Similar actions across the country led to the inclusion of the Adoption and Legal Guardianship Incentive Payment Fund in the fiscal year 2018 appropriations bills.

Many adoptive programs across the country use federally funded adoption incentives to help children who have been difficult to place. Older children, sibling groups, and those with special needs are finding forever homes thanks to the tireless efforts of these programs, many of which would not exist without the incentive funds. According to the National Council for Adoption, the federal adoption incentive program was created by the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 and was reauthorized a few weeks ago. President Bill Clinton originally signed it into law amid a reworking of the foster care system.

Senator Blunt called the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition to thank them for their hard work on the matter. He said, “As co-chair of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption and an adoptive parent myself, making sure we have the resources in place to help more kids find the permanent, loving homes they deserve is a priority. The adoption incentives program provides critical support for foster families and gives them the tools they need to make adoption a success…I’ll continue working to ensure this program remains available for families that open their homes to children who need them.”