I strongly believe in providing loving and safe homes for children through adoption.

Unfortunately, far too many children - nearly 130,000 - are waiting in foster care programs throughout the United States for families to adopt them.

We must work even harder to increase the adoption of these children into safe, permanent, loving homes. We have the ability and the opportunity to help encourage adoption and help those in the foster care system.

I introduced what has now become landmark adoption legislation, the Adoption and Safe Families Act. This legislation put the health and safety of children first, and gave our nation’s foster children a fighting chance. It streamlines the adoption process to quickly help move more children in foster care into permanent adoptive homes. The statute also offers incentives to states to increase the number of adoption efforts when a child’s safety is in danger. I am pleased that this legislation also spurred National Adoption Day and National Adoption Month (November), while encouraging adoption throughout the year.

Since the Adoption and Safe Families Act became law, adoptions have steadily increased each year. My legislation, along with other bills passed over the last few years, has led to dramatic improvements for children in the foster care system. But we have much work left to do. Far too many children in America remain in the foster care system instead of in a loving home. We must remain committed to the fight to help these children also.

As an avid adoption supporter, we must continue to promote the adoption of children into safe and loving homes. The Adoption and Safe Families Act, and more recently the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 have made possible significant advances in providing more options for children in need, and provided greater assistance to those who remain in the foster system.

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