5 Organizations That Support Adoptive And Foster Families

Adoption and foster care are great ways to take in children who need homes and form a loving family. Unfortunately, there are many hurdles that make the process complicated, from applications to finding understanding emotional support. That's why organizations like the ones listed here strive to help both parents and children find their forever families. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Groups That Help Adoptive & Foster Families

Organization Location Mission
A Family For Every Child Eugene, OR Find loving, permanent families for every waiting foster child
You Gotta Believe Brooklyn, NY Make sure that young people in foster care leave with a family
Gift of Adoption Fund Techny, IL Fill the void that separates child from family through adoption assistance grants that give vulnerable children a permanent home and the chance to thrive
Center for Adoption Support and Education Burtonsville, MD Improve the lives of children who have been adopted or in foster care and their families through counseling, lifelong education, and a growing national network of trained professionals
Minnesota Adopt St. Paul, MN Promote and support successful adoptions for Minnesota children and families

Adoption Rates In United States

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Year Children in Foster Care Children Adopted
2008 750,000 55,300
2009 700,000 57,200
2010 669,000 53,500
2011 643,000 50,900
2012 635,000 52,000
2013 638,000 50,800
2014 650,000 50,700
2015 669,000 53,600
2016 685,000 57,200
2017 691,000 59,400

Open vs Closed Adoption

Open Closed
Adoptive parents & birth parents get to know each other
Birth parents can choose their child's adoptive parents
Identifying information is kept secret
Requires the help of a third party
Relevant medical information is shared

Christopher Ategeka's Adoption Story

In Depth

Over 140 million children under the age of 18 are orphaned worldwide. In the United States alone, approximately 80 million Americans have considered adoption, yet less than 2% of those people will ever begin the process due to high costs and irregular support. However, there are organizations working to make adoption and fostering more accessible for prospective parents. Here, in no particular order, are five nonprofits working to connect children with their forever families.

Starting off the list at #1 is A Family For Every Child, an organization focused on finding permanent and loving adoptive homes for all waiting children. To accomplish this, A.F.F.E.C. focuses on assisting children who the foster care system considers "hard to place." These young people are usually older, ethnically diverse, part of a sibling group, or have severe physical, emotional, and even developmental challenges. In its commitment to serving these "hard to place" youths, the organization also works to identify and reconnect lost family members with older foster children who might otherwise end up disadvantaged and homeless.

The organization's programs include: mentoring; advocate services; family building assistance; host homes for homeless youth; and overall support to the child, family members, assigned social workers, and potential adoptive families. A Family For Every Child has developed more than 10 initiatives that assist special-needs and challenging-to-place foster children in finding their own forever families. Originally founded as an Oregon-focused organization, A.F.F.E.C.'s adoption agency has expanded to support several states, and has over 900 volunteers in its network. It welcomes new volunteers, donations, child sponsorships, and attendance at its events.

It welcomes new volunteers, donations, child sponsorships, and attendance at its events.

In the #2 spot is You Gotta Believe, a nonprofit dedicated to recruiting lifetime parents for young adults, teens, and tweens currently in the foster care system. Nearly 60% of the youth referred to Y.G.B. have experienced successful matches, and the effectiveness of its research-backed, youth-centered approach was highlighted in the 2012 United Nations Children's Fund report. In fact, the nonprofit's methods have been written up in academic journals as a 'best practice' for adoptive family recruitment for older youth. Y.G.B. has been granted numerous awards, including the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's 2013 All Children-All Families Seal of Recognition.

You Gotta Believe offers services that support adoption, outreach, advocacy, and training. The organization provides ongoing support for teens, parents, and families who are going through the process. These programs include individual coaching, parent education and assistance groups, monthly in-service training, and networking for new adoptive parents. Y.G.B. also works within the child welfare community, and with policy makers, legislators, and other public officials to change public policies so that they are child-centered. Anyone interested in supporting You Gotta Believe can donate, attend an event, hold a "friendraiser," and volunteer.

Coming in at #3 is Gift of Adoption Fund, a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to families hoping to adopt. On average, families pay between twenty five to forty thousand dollars to cover legal fees, home-study costs, agency and travel costs, and more, an amount which makes adoption impossible for most Americans. G.O.A.F. fills the gap by offering grants of up to $10,000 to qualifying families. The nonprofit prioritizes stopping children from entering the foster system, uniting or preserving biological sibling units, keeping youths from aging out of the orphanage system, and preventing the institutionalization of special needs children.

G.O.A.F. fills the gap by offering grants of up to $10,000 to qualifying families.

Gift of Adoption Fund has reached over 3,086 children with its funding assistance, and has awarded more than 8.9 million dollars since its founding. It is the largest provider of adoption assistance grants awarded without regard to race, religion, age, marital status, or sexual orientation. The nonprofit provides support to complete both domestic and international adoptions, and awards 12 applications each month. G.O.A. welcomes donations, volunteers, membership in its local chapters, and purchasing through its Amazon Smile portal.

At #4 is the Center for Adoption Support and Education, a national leader in mental health services for the adoption and foster care community. C.A.S.E. focuses on providing support and education, youth development programs, legislative advocacy, and competency training to mental health professionals. The nonprofit has assisted more than 6,000 individuals and families with their counseling work, and has provided resources and training to people in 22 countries. It has been granted numerous awards, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2015 Adoption Excellence Award.

The Center for Adoption Support and Education offers an array of resources for parents and families, including workshops, webinars, counseling, articles, and fact sheets. It also runs many major projects, including the National Training Initiative which provides professionals with the skills and tools to enable children's healing from trauma and loss, teach parents effective parenting skills, and improve outcomes for permanency, and child and family well-being. C.A.S.E. offers a number of ways to get involved, including volunteering and donations.

C.A.S.E. offers a number of ways to get involved, including volunteering and donations.

And finally, coming in at #5 is Minnesota Adopt. Founded in 1980 by a mix of advocacy-minded adoptive and foster parents, M.N.A. promotes and supports successful adoptions for Minnesota children and families. It provides online resources and referrals to therapeutic and crisis services, support groups, general process information, and comprehensive training opportunities for interested families. M.N.A. partners with local media outlets to highlight the experiences of Minnesota's waiting children and the need for adoptive and foster families. Additionally, it is contracted by the Minnesota Department of Human Services to administer Minnesota's State Adoption Exchange.

Minnesota Adopt runs a number of initiatives to fulfill its mandate, including its Help and Adopt Education Programs. The Help Program offers post-adoption support for Minnesota families, and provides attachment, trauma, naturalization, and permanency-competent resources. The Adopt Education Program administers in-depth workshops for professionals and families in all stages of the process. Anyone interested in becoming involved with M.N.A. can donate, volunteer, extend a corporate sponsorship, and spread the word about the needs of Minnesota children in foster care.