Adoption Triad

May 16, 2017

View past editions of Adoption Triad


Locating and communicating a child’s history is an essential step in helping prospective parents plan for adoption. This month, Adoption Triad highlights the importance of accessing thorough background medical and social information on a prospective adoptive child.

Giving adoptive families answers to their questions allows them to consider if they have the resources necessary to care for an adopted child. It also enables adopted children to have a more accurate sense of their identity in the future. Detailed background information includes the prospective adoptive child’s relationship to their birth family, prior trauma, and any potential special needs. Knowing and understanding the effect of this information helps to provide a thorough continuum of care, thereby mitigating future adoption disruption.

The resources below are designed to facilitate an open dialogue between prospective families and adoption agencies about the background information necessary in making informed adoption decisions:

  1. Learn about the importance of finding and accessing thorough information in Obtaining Background Information on Your Adopted Child from the Child Welfare Information Gateway. This factsheet for families also provides questions that prospective adoptive parents should ask adoption agencies and offers recommendations for obtaining additional information.
  2. Find State and territory contacts to access birth, death, marriage, or divorce records through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Where to Write for Vital Records.
  3. Learn about the cumulative effect of trauma on positive youth development with Understanding Trauma by AdoptUSKids. This resource provides information on the ways in which an adoptive child’s prior experiences may affect their behavior following adoption.



Jennifer Osborne, Content Coordinator
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.

Other free subscriptions from Child Welfare Information Gateway are available at

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