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Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions - S. 1686

Location: Washington, DC

By Mr. GRASSLEY (for himself, Ms. Landrieu, Mr. Bunning, Mr. Rockefeller, Mr. Craig, Mr. Baucus, Mr. DeWine, Mr. Levin, Mr. Inhofe, Mr. Nelson of Nebraska, Mrs. Lincoln, Mrs. Clinton, and Mr. Jeffords):

S. 1686. A bill to reauthorize the adoption incentive payments program under part E of title IV of the Social Security Act, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Finance.

Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, I rise today to join my colleagues in introducing this bill to reauthorize the Adoption Incentives Program.

The Adoption Incentives Program was created in 1997 as a part of the Adoption and Safe Families Act to encourage and expedite adoptions for children in foster care.

Under the current program, States are given incentive payments for increased adoptions of all foster children, as well as for adoptions of children with special needs. This reauthorization bill will continue that program, while offering new, targeted incentives for adoptions of older children.

There is an overwhelming need for adoption of foster children. Over 550,000 children are currently languishing in foster care in the United States. Of this number, more than 165,000 are children who will never be adopted.

Only half of the children in foster care graduate from high school and only 11 percent of that number go to college. Within 1
year of leaving foster care, 49 percent of these young people are unemployed and within 3 years of leaving foster care, up to 45 percent have been arrested and almost 75 percent have been arrested at least once.

Providing these children with a permanent, stable family helps them become successful, contributing members of society. I am proud to lend my support to this important legislation that will help give these young people a home.

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