For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 23, 2002
Fact Sheet: Helping Children and Building Families Through Adoption
Helping Children and Building Families Through Adoption
Today's Presidential Action:
? President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush announced a
new initiative to increase public awareness and encourage Americans to
consider adoption of children in foster care.
? President Bush announced a new public service advertising
campaign, featuring First Lady Laura Bush and actor Bruce Willis, to
encourage Americans to adopt children in foster care. The President
also tapped Bruce Willis to serve as a national spokesperson for
children in foster care.
? The President also announced the creation of the first federal
and only national web site that focuses on waiting children ?
www.AdoptUSKids.org ? that will reduce the geographic barriers and
waiting time needed to connect children from across the country with
adoptive families. In its first year, it will feature pictures and
profiles of over 6,500 children from 46 states who are available for
adoption, as well as a database of approved adoptive families.
Background on Today's Presidential Action
More than 130,000 of the 565,000 American children in foster care,
ranging in age from toddlers to teenagers, are waiting to be adopted.
On average, these children have been in foster care for almost four
years. Most of these children have special needs that limit their
ability to be adopted, such as being part of a sibling group that
wishes to stay together, belonging to a particular ethnic group, or
having physical or emotional challenges. These children are
adoptable; in fact, in 2000, over 50,000 children in foster care were
adopted. But recruiting a family that can meet the special needs of a
particular child can be challenging, especially when the right family
may live in a different state or county.
President Bush believes that every child in America deserves to
live in a safe, permanent and loving family. Today, the President
? Adoption Public Service Advertisement (PSA): The adoption
PSA will feature the First Lady and actor Bruce Willis. It will also
highlight the new website and toll-free number - 866-USA-0660 - for
interested families to receive adoption information and be referred to
their State adoption specialist. Additionally, President Bush has
asked Bruce Willis to serve as a national spokesperson for children in
foster care. The public service advertisement can be viewed at
? First Federal Adoption Web Site and Internet Photolisting:
AdoptUSKids.org, an Internet adoption photolisting service, will help
connect waiting children from across the country with loving adoptive
families. The site provides prospective adoptive parents with a
private, secure place to communicate interactively with other families
and adoption experts - especially useful for families living in rural
areas. Social workers will be able to follow inquiries from families
approved to adopt and respond to them instantly through the site.
AdoptUSKids is an initiative of the Children's Bureau of the Department
of Health and Human Services, and it is currently operated by the
National Adoption Center.
President Bush's Commitment to Promoting Adoption
? Promoting adoption and supporting families who adopt: On
January 17, 2002, the President signed the Promoting Safe and Stable
Families Amendment Act to help States provide services to promote
adoption for children in foster care and provide post-adoption support
to families so that they can stay strong and their children reach their
potential. The President's FY 03 budget strongly supports the Promoting
Safe and Stable Families program with an increase of more than $130
million over FY 02 levels.
? Adoption Tax Credit: The tax relief bill that the President
signed last year permanently extends and increases the adoption tax
credit from $5,000 per child to $10,000 per child for qualified
adoption expenses. For special needs adoptions, it increases the
credit from $6,000, for qualified adoption expenses, to $10,000,
regardless of expenses.
For more information on the President's initiatives, please visit