Understanding Adoption Subsidies: An Analysis of AFCARS Data. Same-Year Adoption Rates and Time to Adoption

01/01/2005

The model in Figure 1-1 hypothesizes that states with high subsidy rates and/or high median subsidy amounts will have a higher proportion of children in foster care exit to adoption. To examine this theory, we obtained a same year foster care adoption rate for each state, defined as the proportion of eligible children(11) who were adopted. We presented this adoption rate, the adoption subsidy rate, and the median monthly adoption subsidy in Table A-10, in the appendix.

The national adoption rate was 22 percent in 2001. Six of the nine largest states(12) reported a rate matching or exceeding the national average. Each reported that at least 90 percent of their cases received a subsidy and all but one reported a median subsidy close to or exceeding the national median. Of the three large states with adoption rates lower than the national average, one (Michigan) reported more than 90 percent of their cases receive subsidies (with a median exceeding the national median); one state reported a subsidy rate of 64.2 percent (Florida) with a median subsidy below the national median and the third state reported an adoption rate just below the national average, a subsidy rate of 72.6 percent, and a higher median subsidy amount compared to the national median (Texas).

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