The Wait is Over!

Since 1983, 7,660 children have joined their families

271 have families, since January 1, 2014

  • 57% belong to a minority group
  • 78% are 9 years old or older
  • 40% are 14 years old or older

Change a child's life...

Adopt ~ Donate ~ Volunteer

Login will simplify the child inquiring process. | Sign Up

about us

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.


The 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, Utah, New Mexico, and Nevada. Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming are also participating member states, and The Adoption Exchange's 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 104,000 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 7,357 waiting children with permanent adoptive homes. In fiscal year 2011-2012, we served 1,107 waiting children: we helped connect 338 of these children to loving adoptive families. Of the children served,  

♥ 66% were over 9 years old or older
♥ 22% were 14 years old or older
♥ 42% were siblings groups
♥ 60% were children of color.

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 24 months, two 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 7,357 children with families.

♥ In our fiscal year 2011-2012, we served 1,107 waiting children; 338 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 1,107 children in our searchable database with profiles, photos and videos to introduce them to potential adoptive families.

ADOPTION NETWORKING and PROFILE PARTIES: 371 children and 220 potential adoptive parents attended eight parties in four states.

ADOPTION INQUIRIES: we served 5,543 families and responded to more than 30,766 adoption inquiries from all 50 states and 64 foreign countries.

EDUCATION CENTER ACTIVITIES: 1,081 adoption professionals and potential and adoptive parents  participated in 57 trainings and classes.  Also, the Education Center is home to the National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment (NRCDR) at AdoptUsKids, which provided 84 T/TA (Training and Technical Assistance) events for 1,160 attendees in 10 states.

VOLUNTEERS MAKE A DIFFERENCE: More than 432 volunteers donated almost 8,030 hours in program services, administrative support and fundraising efforts.

POST-ADOPTION SERVICES: in Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah, more than 11,921 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: 703 children were featured in our Weekly Waiting Child emails, the updates were sent to more than 9,226 potential adoptive families across the United States each week. 

Click here to view our PUBLICATIONS
(Newsletters and various other publications)