TOPEKA (KSNT) – A new report from the Department for Children and Families shows the adoption rate in Kansas has risen over the past five years.

The agency says data shows the adoption rate has increased since 2019. Before that time, the average hovered around 650-750 adoptions per year. This increase has also contributed to a 17% decrease in the number of children in the Kansas foster care system.

DCF Adoption Numbers by the years, 2011-2022

In 2019, the DCF created Adoption Accelerator positions and expanded them in 2022. Workers is these positions identify, track and monitor youth who experience barriers to adoption. This is achieved by staff members conducting home studies, sharing resources for completing adoption procedures and aiding case management teams to support adoption finalization.

“We have removed barriers in the adoption process for children with special needs by updating policies and growing eligibility,” DCF Secretary Laura Howard said. “The adoption assistance and subsidies available for families who are trying to adopt children with special needs are vital.”

The DCF also revised adoption subsidy policies for children who are on Technology Assistance waivers and Intellectual/Developmental Disability waivers and need specialized medical care. These children are eligible for monthly subsidies designed to ensure their families can continue to support their specialized needs.

“Over the past three years, we have also grown our partnerships in the community,” Howard said. “DCF’s partnership with The Kansas Post Adoption Resource Center is important as adoptive and kinship families often find the need for support grows in the years after adoptions are finalized.”

Those who are interested in adoption can learn more from Adopt Kansas Kids. This program raises awareness about the need for adoptive families for children currently in foster care as well as educating potential families and connecting them with more information. Click here for more information.