Adoption Incentive Payments

To provide incentives to States to increase annually the number of foster child adoptions, special needs adoptions, and older child adoptions.

Agency - Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services is the Federal government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially to those who are least able to help themselves.

Office - ACF Regional Offices.

Selected Recipients for this Program

RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Children And Family Services, Louisiana Department Of $ 1,185,000   2019-10-012023-09-30
Human Services, North Dakota Department Of $ 320,000   2019-10-012023-09-30
Arkansas Department Of Human Services $ 1,995,500   2019-10-012023-09-30
Children, Youth & Their Families, Delaware Dept Of Services For $ 267,500   2019-10-012023-09-30
Health & Family Services, Kentucky Cabinet For $ 977,500   2019-10-012023-09-30
Child Safety, Arizona Department Of $ 2,427,500   2019-10-012023-09-30
Children & Family Services, Illinois Department Of $ 704,000   2019-10-012023-09-30
Social Services, California Department Of $ 2,630,000   2019-10-012023-09-30
Health & Human Services, Michigan Department Of $ 1,245,000   2019-10-012023-09-30
Children And Families, Kansas Department For $ 2,533,500   2019-10-012023-09-30

Program Accomplishments

In fiscal year 2007, 19 states received incentives. Number of states to receive incentives fiscal years 2008 and 2009 are unknown.

Uses and Use Restrictions

A State shall not expend an amount paid to the State under this grant except to provide to children of families any activity or service (including post-adoption services) that may be provided under Part B or E of Title IV of the Social Security Act.

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 423, 434, and 474 of the Social Security Act.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Applications are not required.

The States, including Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, may receive payments.

The Children's Bureau shall determine the numbers of foster child adoptions, the special needs adoptions, and the older child adoption in a State on the basis of AFCARS data as reported by each State and accepted by the Children's Bureau no later than May 15 of the fiscal year subsequent to the fiscal year in which the adoptions were finalized (i.e., the "earning year").

Beneficiary Eligibility

Beneficiaries are those children and families eligible under Title IV-B and Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, as amended.


The Children's Bureau must receive and approve State reported AFCARS data submitted by May 15 of the fiscal year following the fiscal year in which the adoptions were finalized (i.e., the "earning year").

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

States are automatic applicants.

Award Procedures

Incentive payments will be issued annually, in the fiscal year subsequent to the earning year. Payment will be based on AFCARS data submitted no later than May 15 of the fiscal year following the earning year. AFCARS data must be accepted and approved by the Children's Bureau.


AFCARS reports must be received no later than May 15, for subsequent fiscal years in order to be considered for incentive payments.


Part E, Section 473A of the Social Security Act; the Adoption Promotion Act of 2003, Public Law 108-145.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time





None. Each "earning year" (fiscal years 2003-2007), State adoption data received through AFCARS will be considered on its own merit.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

The adoption incentive payment payable to a State for a fiscal year shall be equal to the sum of (a) $4,000, multiplied by the number of foster child adoptions in the State during the fiscal year which exceeds the base number of foster child adoptions for the State for the fiscal year; (b) $4,000 multiplied by the number of foster child adoptions of children age 9 or older in the State during the fiscal year in which exceeds the base number of foster child adoption of children age 9 or older for the State for the fiscal year; and (c) $2,000, multiplied by the number of special needs adoptions of children under age nine in the State during the fiscal year which exceeds the base number of special needs adoptions of children under age 9 for the State for the fiscal year, if the state receives a bonus under (a) or (b). There are no matching requirements for these funds.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Payments to a State in a fiscal year shall remain available for use by the State through the end of the succeeding fiscal year.

Post Assistance Requirements


States must identify in the Child and Family Services Plan (CFSP) or Annual Progress and Services Report (APSR) as applicable (due June 30 of each year), the services they have provided to children and families as a result of the expenditure of adoption incentive payments.

Should more than one fiscal year's incentive funds be expended during a given reporting period, the report should reflect the services provided and identify the fiscal year's funds expended.

Actual expenditures of incentive funds must be reported annually on Form SF- 269, Financial Status Report.


In accordance with 45 CFR 92.



Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $7,354,000; FY 08 $4,323,000; and FY 09 est $19,674,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

In FY 2007, incentive payments to States ranged from $12,000 to $2,100,000. The average incentive payment was $387,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

ACYF-CB-PI-04-03, issued 03/23/04.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

ACF Regional Offices.

Headquarters Office

Gail Collins, Division of Program Implementation, Children's Bureau, Administration for Children, Youth and Families, 1250 Maryland Avenue S.W., Washington DC, 20024, 8th Floor, Telephone: (202) 205-8552.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

All State Agencies are considered if the number of adoptions exceed the baseline number of adoptions.

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