Public law 96-272, passed by Congress in 1980. This act was passed to correct or alleviate problems in the foster care system and to promote permanency rather than multiple foster placements. Another goal of the act was to encourage social workers to work toward reunification of the family and to avoid long-term foster care for the children if possible. If the child could not be returned to the family, another plan was to be sought: adoption, long-term foster care or some other resolution. The act also established the ADOPTION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM through which SPECIAL NEEDS adoptions are partially subsidized by the federal government.
The act also provided federal funds and required states to create adoption subsidy programs. In past years, many children with SPECIAL NEEDS were not adopted because adoptive parents could not afford the extensive medical bills. This problem has increased in recent years. Because of problems with the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act, such as children remaining in foster care for years, Congress passed the Adoption and Safe Families Act in 1997 (See also ADOPTION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM; WAITING CHILDREN.)
Find more information on Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980
©2000 by Christine Adamec and William Pierce, Ph.D. Reprinted from The Encyclopedia of Adoption, 2nd Edition (2nd Edition) with permission of Facts On File, Inc.
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