Strengthening Commitments to Adoption

On September 29, President Obama signed the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act. The law will protect children from sex trafficking, enhance the Adoption Incentive program, enable children in care to participate in normal childhood activities and fund new post-adoption and post-guardianship supports. The bill’s movement through Congress was not easy, but well worth the wait. The National Adoption Center is particularly pleased that the new law prevents states from using the Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement (APPLA) as a case goal for children under 16. These children must now have a case goal of return home, adoption, guardianship or relative placement. Youth 16 and up may still have an APPLA goal but states must document ongoing efforts to achieve permanency and the rational for why other permanency options are not in the youth’s best interests. The National Adoption Center is grateful for the efforts of congressional leaders and child welfare advocates who worked so diligently to ensure passage of the bill.