This page provides definitions of the categories and terms included in the National Foster Care & Adoption Directory search.
Groups that offer support and information to adopted adults, birth parents, relatives involved in a search for birth family members, and for birth family members not necessarily involved in searching.
State resources to connect prospective foster and adoptive parents with information on how to become a foster or adoptive parent. Search results for this category include contact information for:
- Statewide Foster Care Information Lines - Phone numbers to call for information about becoming a foster parent in a particular State or territory.
- Statewide Adoption Information Lines - Phone numbers to call for information about adopting children in foster care in a particular State or territory.
- State Adoption Exchanges - State programs with the purpose of educating prospective adoptive parents about the adoption process and linking prospective adoptive families with children waiting for adoption.
- State Photolistings of Children Waiting for Adoption - State services featuring pictures and brief descriptions of the children in the State foster care system who have the permanency goal of adoption and are waiting for families.
State organizations that provide publications, online learning tools, discussion groups, workshops, as well as other support and advocacy resources designed to meet the needs of adoptive parents and their children.
Associations and groups that support and empower current and former foster youth in achieving the goal of independence. State initiatives, mentoring services, and other activities that help youth move toward self-sufficiency in the areas of education, employment, housing, and health are also highlighted.
Groups that offer support and information for prospective foster, adoptive, or kinship parents and/or families who have already had children placed in their home or have adopted. Groups differ and may be facilitated by either parents or professionals.
Agencies with verified child-placing licenses in the State or territory in which they are practicing at the time they are added to the directory. Each agency's license is verified annually.
Agencies with verified child-placing licenses in the State or territory in which they are practicing at the time they are added to the directory. Each agency's license is verified annually. Agencies accredited to provide adoption services under the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption are noted in the directory's search results page.
The experts on State adoption assistance programs in each State or territory.
The authorities on adoption policy in each State or territory with oversight responsibility for all adoption services provided to children in the custody of the State or territory
The authorities on foster care policy in each State or territory with oversight responsibility for all foster care services provided to children in the custody of the State or territory.
State IL Coordinators - Responsible for assisting youth in foster care with accessing services geared toward achieving self-sufficiency prior to exiting foster care.
State ETV Coordinators - Determine and review eligibility for postsecondary training and education for youth who have aged out of foster care or who have left foster care after age 16 through kinship, guardianship, or adoption.
Responsible for overseeing the administration of ICAMA, which regulates the delivery of medical services and adoption assistance to children moving across State or territory lines for foster care placement or adoption.
Provides legal and fiscal oversight for ICPC, which regulates the interstate movement of children in foster care, adoption, residential treatment, or juvenile justice programs.
Responsible for the oversight and coordination of the kinship care program; in the absence of a specific contact, provides link to State-specific information.
Responsible for maintaining the listing of licensed child-placing agencies in each State or territory.
The experts on medical assistance and services for children in foster care, adoption, residential treatment, or juvenile justice programs in each State or territory.
The experts on State postadoption services and programs in each State or territory.
State or territory services that provide access to adoption records to those affected by adoption. Search results for this category include contact information for:
- State Reunion Registries - Provide contact information for State or territory registries that allow adopted adults, birth parents, and sometimes birth siblings and adoptive parents to consent (or withhold consent) to have their identifying information from adoption records released.
- Confidential Intermediary Services - Provide contact information for court-appointed confidential intermediaries, through which adopted adults, birth parents, and other birth relatives can consent to the release of information from adoption records, exchange information, and/or make contact, if a reunion is desired.