Before the Ohio General Assembly session expired last month, they passed a major spending bill, HB 45, which created a new adoption incentive program. This new program would incentive individuals who adopt children, whether they are from foster care, private adoptions, or even international adoptions. The incentives range from $10,000 to $20,000 per adoption, with most foster children adoption being in the $15,000 to $20,000 levels.
According to ODJFS, the total annual cost of this new program could be greater than $40 million. Therefore, this is the largest new investment to promote adoptions in recent state history. As a result of this new massive program, the Ohio Adoption Tax Credit will also be phased out.
We have begun to hold discussions with ODJFS about implementation strategies. There is a lot to explore over this next year. How will this new program affect post adoption subsidies, the Adoption Connections program, and overall recruitment of adoptive families? Foster care and adoption agencies will also need to assess how to leverage the incentives to motivate the right families to consider and follow through on adoptions. Our own staff unit that oversees the It Takes Heart resource home recruitment program is also exploring this opportunity.
Over the course of 2023, we will learn much more about the program and have opportunities to work with ODJFS to shape its implementation. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about this new law!