Resources for Adoptive Parents

Gift of Adoption
God’s Grace Adoption
The Hebrew Free Loan

State Adoption Benefits:
Some states offer a non-recurring adoption expense reimbursement. Families may be able to apply for reimbursement of adoption related expenses. These expenses may include the homestudy fee, costs for travel to meet the child, attorney’s fees, etc. Each State sets a cap for the maximum amount of reimbursement, which cannot exceed $2,000. You must apply for this benefit before your adoption is final. The North American Council on Adoptable Children offers information on state adoption subsidies.





A legally recognized process that creates a parent-child relationship between individuals who are not biologically related to each other.

Adoption Agency:

An agency licensed by the state to prepare adoptive parents, counsel birth parents, complete homestudies, complete paperwork, place children in homes, and perform other adoption-related functions.

Adoption Agreement:

The agreement in which the adoptive parent(s) and birthparent(s) put into writing their understanding of the terms of an adoption  – including the degree of communication and contact they will have with one other, and/or with the adopted child.

Adoption Plan:

A plan that outlines the wishes of the genetic parents as it pertains to the adoption.

Adoption Professional: 

An individual who provides many of the services throughout the adoption process. Typical titles include but are not limited to: adoption assessor, homestudy assessor, adoption worker, social worker, adoption consultant, adoption counselor, and adoption case manager.

Adoption Triangle:

An expression used to describe the inter-relationships among adopted children, their birthparents, and their adoptive parents.

Adoptive Parent:

The mother or father of an adopted child.

At Risk Placement:

The placement of a child into the prospective adoptive family, before the rights of the birthparents have been legally terminated.


A mother or father who is genetically related to the child.

Certified Copy:

A copy of an official document that has been certified by an official to be authentic and bears an original seal or embossed design.

Closed Adoption:

Adoptions in which the birthparent(s) and the adoptive parent(s) do not meet, do not exchange identifying information, and do not maintain contact with one another post finalization.

Designated Adoption Or Identified Adoption:

An adoption in which the birthparent(s) choose(s) the adoptive parent(s) for the child.

Domestic Adoption:

The adoption of a child born in the United States.


A collection of required documents that is sent to a foreign country in order to process the adoption of a child in that country’s legal system.


A person or organization that encourages and/or arranges domestic and/or international adoptions.


The legal process by which the adoption becomes permanent and binding.

Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption:

A multi-national agreement designed to promote the uniformity and efficiency of international adoptions.


A homestudy is an assessment of your family and your readiness to adopt. Your readiness to adopt is determined

based on a comprehensive review of your life experiences, health, lifestyle, extended family relationships, attitudes, support system, values, beliefs, and other factors relating to the prospective adoption. This information is summarized and put into one big homestudy report.

Homestudy Agency:

The adoption agency responsible for completing your homestudy.

Independent Adoption:

An adoption arranged privately between the birth family and the adoptive family, without an adoption agency.

Inter-Country Or International Adoption:

The adoption of a child from a different country in which they live.

Non-Identifying Information:

Information that allows the birth and adoptive families to learn pertinent facts about each other without revealing who they are or how they can be contacted.

Open Adoption:

An adoption in which the birthparents and adoptive parents have contact with each other before and/or after the placement of the adopted child.

Post-Placement Services:

A variety of services provided after the adoption is finalized to help ensure that the adoption goes smoothly.

Placement Agency:

The adoption agency responsible for assisting you with adopting a child. This agency may be different than your homestudy agency.

Special Needs Child:

A child with medical, mental, emotional, behavioral, or educational needs that may require extra and on-going attention.


Individuals responsible for choosing adoptive parents. They usually include birthparents, adoption agency workers and county social workers.

Termination Of Parental Rights:

The process by which a parent’s rights to his or her child are legally and permanently terminated.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Bureau (USCIS):

An agency of the federal government that approves an adopted child’s immigration into the United States and grants U.S. citizenship to children adopted from other countries.