The median subsidy amount for children adopted in 2001 was $444 a month (Table 3-7); a 10 percent increase from the median of $404 provided in 1999. At the same time, 33,655 children were adopted in 1999 and 39,135 children were adopted in 2001, a 16 percent increase.
|Monthly Subsidy Amount|
Source: AFCARS 1999-2001, adoption data.
Table 3-8 shows the relationship between child-related factors and subsidy amount received. As would be expected, adoption subsidies increase as children get older, presumably reflecting their greater need for services (also seen on Table A-7). Children less than 6 years old receive a median of $406 compared to $522 for children aged 13 to 17. Whites, African-Americans, and Hispanics had an identical median subsidy amount ($444), while children of other races received slightly higher subsidies ($469).
|Adopted Children||25th Percentile
|Child's age at adoption|
|0 to 5 years||18,734||369||406||550||1,000|
|6 to 12 years||16,857||387||471||650||1,090|
|13 to 17 years||3,544||436||522||690||1,132|
|Preadoptive parent-child relationship|
|Wait time (from TPR to adoption)|
|< 6 months||7,906||364||420||562||1,029|
|6 to 12 months||10,519||384||441||591||1,024|
|12 to 18 months||8,002||393||444||600||1,078|
|> 18 months||12,168||400||475||650||1,090|
Source: AFCARS 2001, adoption data.
Children in nonrelative foster homes received higher median subsidies compared to other preadoptive placements (excluding stepparent adoptions) a monthly median of $471 vs. $450 for foster parents and $441 for other relatives.
Children who waited longer from TPR to adoption (more than 18 months) received a higher median subsidy compared to children who were adopted more quickly after TPR.
Table A-7 in the appendix shows that median monthly adoption subsidy amounts vary substantially among states. Overall, median subsidies ranged from a low of $174 and $241 (Puerto Rico and Alabama, respectively) to a high of $856 (Iowa) and $741 (Washington, DC). Among the nine largest states,(6) median subsidy amounts ranged from $300 in Florida up to $591 in Michigan.
The national data shows subsidy amounts tend to increase for older children (see bottom row on A-7). We examined the nine largest states6 to determine whether this pattern was consistent on a state-level basis. All of these large states, with the exception of one, showed a similar pattern. Texas was the exception, which reported the same median subsidy amount for each of the three age groups. These findings are consistent with state policies that tend to have higher basic subsidy rates for older children (U.S. House of Representatives, 2004). Nevertheless, results should be interpreted with caution due to the differences in how states structure their subsidy payments (i.e., what is included in basic rates vs. special supplemental payments).