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Senate Bill Would Aid 11,500 MA Kids Awaiting Adoption

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 By John Robinson/Kevin Clay, Contact
July 29, 2008

Boston, MA - A bill awaiting Senate action could have big benefits for more than 11,000 Massachusetts children living in foster care. The Senate Finance Committee is considering a bill meant to help them get adopted. Currently, many never find adoptive families, eventually "aging out" of the foster care system.

The bill includes incentives that would encourage states to find more adoptive homes, explains Elizabeth Davis-Pratt with the Children's Defense Fund.
"There is adoption expense assistance that would go directly to parents through the states, but the adoption incentive program is a program to 'incentivize' them to really try to get these children placed."

Davis-Pratt says the state incentives are needed because as kids get older, their chances of adoption decline.

"Special need for federal adoption assistance comes at about eight years old. Definitely it's harder to find adoptive families the older a child gets."

Davis-Pratt says the Finance Committee needs to act soon so the Senate can consider the full bill before the current incentives expire. Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry is a member of the committee.

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