Adoption Triad

March 21, 2017

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This month, Adoption Triad highlights the importance of seeking and accessing adoption-competent services. As the adoption experience affects each member of the triad differently, therapeutic support may help adoptive families build healthier relationships and overcome potential adjustment difficulties. Showing respect and validation, building a positive relationship with clients, and developing and working toward mutually agreed upon goals are essential elements of a successful therapeutic relationship. It is also important to note that practitioners who have been trained and understand issues of trauma, grief, loss, and adoptees' search for identity are better equipped to meet the unique needs of families formed by adoption. Competent professionals with experience in the adoption field can rely on their knowledge and familiarity with adoption issues to plan interventions designed to strengthen and preserve families. Therefore, carefully choosing the right professional is a step in the right direction for a positive and healing experience. The resources below offer suggestions on what to look for and how to find an adoption-competent therapist.

  1. Creating a Family produced an adoption radio show titled Interview Questions to Find an Adoption Therapist, which recommends specific questions to ask an adoption therapist to determine their suitability for providing adoption-compietent series.
  2. View the Child Welfare Information Gateway publication titled Selecting and Working With a Therapist Skilled in Adoption for an overview of the different types of professionals and therapeutic approaches that can better serve adoptive families.
  3. The Center for Adoption Support and Education provides a directory of adoption-competent mental health professionals who have been specially trained in this area.



Alice Yam, MSW intern
Child Welfare Information Gateway

Adoption Triad is distributed at no charge by Child Welfare Information Gateway (, a service of the Children's Bureau/ACF/HHS ( It provides adoption professionals with practical information to help them identify, recruit, train, and retain families for children and youth, and provides resources on all aspects of adoption for members of the adoption triad: birth parents, adopted people, and adoptive parents.

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