Adoption Incentive Payments

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Administered by:

Purpose of this program:

To provide incentives to States to increase annually the number of foster child adoptions, special needs adoptions, and older child adoptions.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

A State shall not expend an amount paid to the State under this grant except to provide to children of families any activity or service (including post-adoption services) that may be provided under Part B or E of Title IV of the Social Security Act. Amounts expended by a State in accordance with the preceding sentence shall be disregarded in determining State expenditures for purposes of Federal matching payments under Sections 423, 434, and 474 of the Social Security Act.

Who is eligible to apply...

Applications are not required. The States, including Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, may receive payments. The Children's Bureau shall determine the numbers of foster child adoptions, the special needs adoptions, and the older child adoption in a State for fiscal years 2003 through 2007, on the basis of AFCARS data as reported by each State and accepted by the Children's Bureau no later than May 15, of the fiscal year subsequent to the fiscal year in which the adoptions were finalized (i.e., the "earning year").

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:

The Children's Bureau must receive and approve State reported AFCARS data submitted by May 15 of the fiscal year following the fiscal year in which the adoptions were finalized(i.e., the "earning year").

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

States are automatic applicants.

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

Incentive payments will be issued annually, in the fiscal year subsequent to the earning year. Payment will be based on AFCARS data submitted no later than May 15 of the fiscal year following the earning year. AFCARS data must be accepted and approved by the Children's Bureau.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...


AFCARS reports must be received no later than May 15, for subsequent fiscal years in order to be considered for incentive payments.

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Not applicable.

Preapplication Coordination

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.


Not applicable.

Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).


None. Each "earning year" (fiscal years 2003-2007), State adoption data received through AFCARS will be considered on its own.

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

Beneficiaries are those children and families eligible under Title IV-B and Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, as amended.

About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Formula Grants

Allocations of money to States or their subdivisions in accordance with distribution formulas prescribed by law or administrative regulation, for activities of a continuing nature not confined to a specific project.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

In FY 2003, incentive payments to States ranged from $18,000 to $3,520,000. The average incentive payment was $649,000. An estimate range for FY 2004 and FY 2005 is from $19,000 to 2,000,000.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.


(Grants) FY 03 $14,927,000; FY 04 est $35,249,250; and FY 05 est $32,013,000.

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification


Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

Not applicable.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

In fiscal year 2003 26 grants were awarded in which 51,000 foster care children were legally adopted.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

All State Agencies are considered if the number of adoptions exceed the baseline number of adoptions.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Payments to a State in a fiscal year shall remain available for use by the State through the end of the succeeding fiscal year.

Formula and Matching Requirements

The adoption incentive payment payable to a State for a fiscal year shall be equal to the sum of (a) $4,000, multiplied by the number of foster child adoptions in the State during the fiscal year which exceeds the base number of foster child adoptions for the State for the fiscal year; (b) $4,000 multiplied by the number of foster child adoptions of children age 9 or older in the State during the fiscal year in which exceeds the base number of foster child adoption of children age 9 or older for the State for the fiscal year; and (c) $2,000, multiplied by the number of special needs adoptions of children under age nine in the State during the fiscal year which exceeds the base number of special needs adoptions of children under age 9 for the State for the fiscal year. There are no matching requirements for these funds.

A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...


States must identify in the Child and Family Services Plan (CFSP) or Annual Progress and Services Report (APSR) as applicable (due June 30 of each year), the services they have provided to children and families as a result of the expenditure of adoption incentive payments. Should more than one fiscal year's incentive funds be expended during a given reporting period, the report should reflect the services provided and identify the fiscal year's funds expended. Actual expenditures of incentive funds must be reported annually on Form SF- 269, Financial Status Report.

Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.


In accordance with 45 CFR 74.

Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).



Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.



Part E, Section 473A of the Social Security Act; the Adoption Promotion Act of 2003, Public Law 108-145.

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

ACYF-CB-IM-04-04, issued 02/17/04.

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office

ACF Regional Offices.

Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

Jennifer Butler-Hembree, Division of Program Implementation, Children's Bureau, Administration for Children, Youth and Families, 330 C St., SW., Washington, DC 20447, Telephone: (202) 260-7684.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: