Statement by the President: Adoption Bonus Awards (9/20/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                                     September 20,

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     Today's award of nearly $20 million in adoption bonuses to states
demonstrates the dramatic success of our efforts to move more children from
the foster care system to loving homes they can call their own.  With this
second round of awards by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, have
now earned bonuses for increasing the number of children adopted from
public foster care. Last year alone, 46,000 foster care children were
adopted -- an increase of nearly 65 percent since 1996.  This puts us well
on the way to meeting my goal of doubling the number of adoptions from
28,000 in 1996 to 56,000 by 2002.  I commend the states for accepting the
challenge to more rapidly move children from foster care into permanent
homes, and the many loving families who have opened their hearts and their
homes to adopt children from the foster care rolls.

     I also want to thank the First Lady for her commitment and leadership
on this issue.  Hillary spearheaded my Administration?s effort to transform
our child welfare system and promote adoption by leading the
Administration?s Adoption 2002 initiative, which served as the blueprint
for the Adoption and Safe Families Act that I signed into law in 1997. The
adoption bonus awards were included as part of my our Adoption 2002
initiative, and were enacted as part of the Adoption and Safe Families Act,
establishing the first-ever financial incentives to states to increase
adoptions of children waiting in the foster care system.


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