H.R. 3205: Promoting Adoption and Legal Guardianship for Children in Foster Care Act

H.R. 3205

Promoting Adoption and Legal Guardianship for Children in Foster Care Act

Sponsor
Rep. Dave Camp

Date
October 22, 2013 (113th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, October 22, 2013, the House will consider H.R. 3205, the Promoting Adoption and Legal Guardianship for Children in Foster Care Act,under a suspension of the rules.  The bill was introduced on September 27, 2013 by Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) and referred to the Committee on Ways and Means. 

Bill Summary

H.R. 3205 reauthorizes the Adoption Incentives program through FY 2016.  This legislation makes improvements to the State reward structure by focusing the program on increasing adoption rates instead of the raw number of adoptions.  This ensures that States are still able to receive awards if foster care caseloads decline.  Included in the new reward structure are new award categories for increases in the rate of adoption for older children (children over the age of 14) and also increases in the rate of children leaving foster care to live with legal guardians.

In addition, this legislation requires States to improve their reporting of State savings made as a result of changes made in the program’s 2008 reauthorization that increased federal funding for adoption assistance.  The bill requires States to set aside a portion of these savings to be invested in services to support families after adoptions are finalized.  Moreover, the bill increases the amount of time in which incentive payments are available to be spent from 24 months to 36 months.  This legislation also clarifies the treatment of successor guardians in order to ensure that children can continue to be cared for by another legal guardian if a relative guardian passes away.

Title II of the bill extends Family Connection Grants (FCG) through FY 2016.  Title III offsets these payments by improving the collection of unemployment insurance overpayments.  Title III requires States to offset Federal income tax refunds to recover the cost of unemployment insurance overpayments.

Background

The Adoption Incentives program provides states federal bonuses for increasing adoptions from foster care.  According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), “All 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have earned a part of the $375 million in Adoption Incentive funds that have been awarded since the program was established as part of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997.”[1]  The program was most recently reauthorized in 2008.[2]  The program is set to expire on September 30, 2013.



[2] See H.R. 6893, the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, P.L. 110-351.

Cost

A preliminary CBO cost estimate indicates that this bill will reduce the deficit by $24 million over 10 years.

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.