By Jeff Katz
In November of 1995, President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton hosted an event to honor National Adoption month. The most powerful moment came when a teenage girl from Oklahoma read a gut-wrenching poem about her desire to be part of a family. That speech so moved Hillary Clinton that she and the President launched an initiative designed to double the number of children adopted from foster care each year. In 1997, President Clinton signed the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 into law. Among its central provisions, the law set time limits on how long a child could wait in foster care before a state was required to move towards adoption and established financial incentives for states to move children from foster care to adoption. And it worked. Within three years, the number of children adopted from foster care in the United States doubled, from 25,000 children each year to 50,000 children each year.