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The Children's Bureau supports programs, research, and monitoring to help eliminate barriers to adoption and find permanent families for children. CB provides funding to states and tribes to help them support families who adopt from foster care. We provide additional funds to states that achieve a high number of adoptions of children from foster care.

Our programs include:

Adoption and Legal Guardianship Incentives

The Adoption and Legal Guardianship Incentive Payments program (formerly called the Adoption Incentive Payments program) recognizes improved performance in helping children and youth in foster care find permanent homes through adoption and legal guardianship. The program was originally established as part of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 and has been reauthorized and revised several times since. In the 2014 reauthorization, the program was renamed to reflect that incentives will be paid to jurisdictions for improved performance in both adoptions and legal guardianship of children in foster care. The program was most recently reauthorized through fiscal year 2021 as part of the Family First Prevention Services Act, signed into law in February 2018.

Adoption Reporting Systems

CB collects case-level data from every state on adoptions from foster care in order to analyze national trends. These analyses are then published both in print and on our website.

Our adoption reporting systems include:

Adoption Savings

The Children’s Bureau compiled data submitted by title IV-E agencies reporting their calculated “Adoption Savings” and their reported expenditure of those savings. These are savings that states and tribes experienced with respect to their own funds due to the expansion of eligibility under the federal title IV-E Adoption Assistance program. Federal law requires the Children’s Bureau to collect and post these data annually, beginning with data for federal fiscal year 2015.

Adoption Training and Technical Assistance

Adoption Training and Technical Assistance CB's Training and Technical Assistance Network helps to maintain a national photolisting of children available for adoption. Our network also provides assistance to states and tribes by recruiting adoptive parents and providing adoption and postadoption services. More training and technical assistance information can be found at:

  • AdoptUSKids provides a national photolisting service of children/youth available for adoption which supports and builds the capacity of state photolistings. This program also provides for an annual National Adoption Recruitment Campaign in conjunction with the AD Council and also provides localized supports to the state recruitment campaign efforts;
  • The National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment provides training and technical assistance to the states, tribes and territories on all matters related to their diligent recruitment, development and support of foster and adoptive parents.
  • Diligent Recruitment of Families for Children in the Foster Care System: Challenges and Recommendations for Policy and Practice describes how child welfare agencies can improve diligent recruitment practices and services for resource families. It is based on grantee final reports and published research and presents activities undertaken by grantees, lessons learned, and suggestions for improvement.

Adoption Highlight

Adoption Excellence Awards recognize outstanding accomplishments in achieving permanency for America's children waiting in foster care. These awards honor those who contribute greatly to moving children from foster care to adoption or other permanent homes. Award recipients include states, local agencies, private organizations, courts, businesses, families and individuals.

Last Reviewed: October 1, 2020