• November 2014
  • Vol. 15, No. 10

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Review of Postadoption Services in the United States

Postadoption services can be critical to successful adoptions, particularly those that include children from foster care who may have had traumatic life experiences. To better understand postadoption services in the States, the Donaldson Adoption Institute (DAI) conducted a study that examines the types of postadoption services States provide, who is eligible to receive them, and how they are funded. DAI staff specifically asked States about the availability of seven postadoption services: information and referral, education programs or materials, support programs, therapeutic and counseling interventions, advocacy, respite, and residential services.

The study authors placed the 49 participating States into three categories based on their postadoption services:

  • Substantial (17 States): have developed several services, including some type of specialized counseling program
  • Moderate (19): have developed some mid-level services, such as training or support groups
  • Minimal (13): have not developed any special services for adoptive families beyond the adoption subsidy

In the majority of States, only families including children adopted from foster care are eligible for postadoption services. However, in 21 States, postadoption services are open to all adoptive families. The report, provides profiles for each participating State as well as a set of recommendations to further develop postadoption services.

Supporting and Preserving Adoptive Families: Profiles of Publicly Funded Post-Adoption Services is available here:

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/xpanel/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/ASAP-State-Study-Final.pdf (3 MB)

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