Mediation is a nonadversarial, voluntary process that allows the parties involved to agree on a permanency decision in the best interests of the child with the help of a neutral third party. Mediation generally avoids adversarial court hearings. Parties are more invested in the outcome because they participated in decision-making.
Parties to mediation may include birth parents, foster/adoptive parents, relatives, the child, the agency worker, attorneys, and others. Mediations can be court-based or may take place at other, more neutral locations. In this section find resources on mediation services.
Adoption and Dependency Mediation Program Evaluation (PDF - 1669 KB)
Maryland Department of Social Services, Prince George's County (2006)
Evaluates a 5-year federally funded adoption and dependency mediation program.
Let's Talk About It!: Facilitating Interjurisdictional Adoption Through Mediation
Johnson-Shelton, Quash-Mah, Lake, & McCartney
Discusses how mediation is used to facilitate interstate placements, types and characteristics of issues in facilitation cases, types and characteristics of facilitation approaches used in adoption cases, and facilitation outcomes.
Open Adoption and Mediated Post Adoption Contact Agreements (PACA) (PDF - 269 KB)
Advocacy Inc., Corinne Wolfe Children's Law Center, New Mexico CASA Network, New Mexico Department of Children Youth and Families, New Mexico Citizen Review Board, and New Mexico Children's Court Improvement Commission (2011)
Focuses on best practices in the field of child protection that have demonstrated positive outcomes for children and families in New Mexico and nationally discussing the use of PACAs in open adoptions.
Permanency Mediation: A Path to Open Adoption for Children in Out-of-Home Care
Child Welfare: Journal of Policy, Practice, and Program, 84(4), 2005
Examines the experiences of birth parents, adoptive parents, and mediators in permanency mediation following a State child welfare agency's recommendation for termination of parental rights.
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Child Welfare Information Gateway
Download (PDF - 567KB)
State Statute Analysis: Post-Adoption Agreements With Mediation Requirement.
Analyzes nine State statutes with a mediation component while exploring potential barriers to the adoption mediation process.
Child Welfare Information Gateway encourages States and localities to submit information on their postadoption initiatives for inclusion in the Information Gateway library and website to share with their peers across the country. Send information to email@example.com.