The Adoption Exchange believes every child deserves a family . . . therefore, we are the connection between children who wait in foster care and families who adopt.
We provide expertise and support before, during and after the adoption process.
The Adoption Exchange envisions a world in which all children are valued and grow up in safe and permanent families, and where families are supported in their critical roles.
IntroductionThe Adoption Exchange
is a non-profit 501(c)(3) child welfare organization founded in 1983 to work for safety and permanence in the lives of foster children. Initially an exchange point for caseworkers to discuss placement of children with families seeking to adopt in the Rocky Mountain region, the organization has grown considerably over the years and now impacts national trends in child welfare, employs over fifty paid staff and counts on scores of volunteers to carry out its mission.
Headquartered in Colorado, The Adoption Exchange offices now operate in Missouri
, New Mexico
, and Nevada
, South Dakota
are also participating member states, and The Adoption Exchange's National Education Center
has established a national presence.
What We Do
The Adoption Exchange recruits families for children who have survived abuse and neglect, supports adoptive families throughout every phase of the adoption process, and trains child welfare professionals. The Adoption Exchange maintains a national training presence, and connects children in eight member states CO, MO, NV, NM, OK, SD, UT and WY with American families living here and abroad.
Who We Serve
Currently, more than 107,000 children in the United States are waiting for adoptive parents to release them from the uncertain future of living in foster care (AFCARS 2010). The Adoption Exchange serves waiting children, current and prospective adoptive families, and child welfare professionals.
The children are survivors of traumatic abuse, neglect and abandonment. Many face barriers because they are school-aged, members of sibling groups who don’t want to be separated, are coping with physical disabilities and struggling with emotional challenges as the result of their painful pasts. They are our nation's waiting children. And what they all want, more than anything, is a family to love them.
Since 1983, we have connected over 6,674 waiting children with permanent adoptive homes. In fiscal year 2010-2011, we served 1,215 waiting children: we helped connect 381 of these children to loving adoptive families. Of the children placed,
♥ 68% were over 9 years old or older
♥ 22% were 14 years old or older
According to Children in Foster Homes: How Are They Faring? (December 2003):
- Children in foster care are four times as likely to have a clinical level of behavioral or emotional problems compared to other children.
- School-age children in foster care are more than twice as likely as other children to be poorly engaged in school.
- The mean length of stay for a child to wait in foster care for a permanent family is 29 months,one-half years. (AFCARS, 2006)
- If they “emancipate” from the state’s care at eighteen instead of being adopted by a loving family, these children are more likely to succumb to substance abuse, crime and poverty. Waiting children deserve better.
Expenses to the Community
Waiting for a permanent home is not only hard on children; it is also expensive to the community. Experts estimate that the annual cost of foster care in the U.S. to be approximately $40,000 per year per child and even when adoption assistance is factored in, the state saves approximately $28,000 per year per child when a child in foster care is adopted. Not only is adoption a better outcome for the children, but it also reduces child welfare costs to the state.
National statistics reveal that 50 percent of youth who emancipate from foster care at age 18 will drop out of high school compared with only 13 percent of the general population who fail to graduate. Twenty percent will be homeless within two years
(The Pew Commission 2009).
♥ Since 1983, The Adoption Exchange has connected more than 6,674 children with families.
♥ In our fiscal year 2009-2010, we served 1,431 waiting children; 464 of these children were placed in loving adoptive homes.We are so grateful to the friends, supporters and volunteers who made this possible, and are excited to report to them the following additional accomplishments of this past year:
♥ THE CHILDREN’S GALLERY:
The Adoption Exchange Web site profiled 1,201 children in our searchable database with profiles, photos and videos to introduce them to potential adoptive families.
♥ ADOPTION NETWORKING
and PROFILE PARTIES:
325 children and 243 potential adoptive parents attended eight parties in four states.
♥ ADOPTION INQUIRIES:
we served 6,488 families and responded to more than 23,762 adoption inquiries from all 50 states and 36 foreign countries.
♥ EDUCATION CENTER ACTIVITIES:
1,156 adoption professionals and potential and adoptive parents participated in 82 trainings and classes. Also, the Education Center is home to the National Resource Center for Recruitment and Retention of Foster and Adoptive Parents
(NRCRRFAP) at AdoptUsKids
, which provided 50 T/TA (Training and Technical Assistance) events for 724 attendees in 18 states, Washington D.C., 1 tribe, and 1 territory.
♥ VOLUNTEERS MAKE A DIFFERENCE
: More than 475 volunteers donated almost 14,000 hours in program services, administrative support and fundraising efforts.
♥ POST-ADOPTION SERVICES
: in Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah, more than 8,350 adoptive families and adoption professionals received post-adoption services, such as referrals for respite care and support groups, as well access to lending libraries, relevant training and information newsletters.
♥ WEEKLY WAITING CHILD EMAILS
: 964 children were featured in our Weekly Waiting Child emails, the updates were sent to more than 6,000 potential adoptive families across the United States each week. Click here to view our PUBLICATIONS
(Newsletters and various other publications)