Removing Barriers to Adoption and Supporting Families Act of 2013 (S.1511)
In March of 2011, Listening to Parents convened an Executive Session of eighteen national experts in adoption and family policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Our goal was to design legislation that would eliminate the many barriers to adoption for children in foster care. Together, we designed a blueprint for reform.
We are thrilled to announce that on September 17, Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Robert Casey (D-PA) introduced the Removing Barriers to Adoption and Supporting Families Act of 2013 (S.1511).
This bill would put into law many of the recommendations we made to eliminate barriers to adoption, support families adopting children from foster care, and reduce the numbers of children aging out of foster care.
To eliminate barriers to interstate adoption, this bill creates incentives for states that work together to place a child with a family across a state. It encourages states to develop a standardized home study format, and institutes better interstate data tracking on adoptions across state lines
Other critical improvements put forward in the bill include:
- Reauthorization of the expiring federal Adoption Incentives Program.
- Increased federal investments in post-adoption services.
- It restricts the use of long-term foster care and requires greater technical assistance be provided to states to encourage permanent placements for teens in out-of-home care.
- Enhanced focus on permanency for older youth and a comprehensive report on outcomes.
- Heightened efforts to maintain sibling relationships.
Our friends at Voice For Adoption have developed a section by section description of the act.
What You Can Do To Help
Contact your Senator and ask him or her to support Senate bill S. 1511, the Removing Barriers to Adoption and Supporting Families Act of 2013. Cntact information for your Senator can be found here.