How to Increase the Pool of Adoptive Parents?

November 12, 2021

A variety of actions can help increase the pool of adoptive parents:

  • We can provide financial incentives, such as tax credits. However, low-income families are less likely to benefit from tax credits because they are nonrefundable. Thus, making tax-credits available and refundable could help incentivize adoption. As another financial incentive, we can provide subsidies, which positively impact adoption rates.

  • We must also focus on providing parents and children with the resources they need to achieve “relational permanency” (a lifelong connection to a caring adult, regardless of legal custody status). This can help prevent broken adoptions and reduce the number of children waiting for homes. To do this we can:

    • ​Recruit kinship providers. Many experts believe that if possible, it can be better to have relatives care for children than to put them through the foster care/adoption process.

    • Provide adoptive parents with resources and training to improve the parent-child relationship. Trust-Based Relational Intervention is one example of a training that could be used.

    • Address children’s well-being. For example, striving for stability, keeping siblings together, encouraging social connections for kids, social engagement, and normalcy (e.g., participating in extra-curricular activities, employment, community organizations).

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