The adoption program lies at the heart of NOAS and is dedicated to

developing and supporting lifelong adoptive families for children who cannot

be reunited with their families of origin. Agency staff recruit parents for

waiting children and provide assessment, preparation and ongoing support to

children and adoptive/foster families.

Preparing the child

Becoming part of a new family is exciting and scary for children. The

children we serve have often waited for years for a permanent home. Staff

are passionate about their commitment to children and the importance of a

forever family. They work closely with every child to help them understand their

past and move toward a brighter future. We believe that knowing a child well

prior to placing them in an adoptive home greatly increases the likelihood

of success for all involved.

Child specific recruitment

Our staff members plan and implement a specific research-based strategy

for finding families for kids. A recruitment plan is specifically designed

for each child taking into account his/her unique personality. We use photos,

videos,community events and word of mouth to advocate for each child’s right

to a family to call his/her own. Special efforts are made to keep siblings together.


Potential adoptive families attend education groups. These classes are

geared to help parents decide if adopting a waiting child is right for them.

Potential adoptive and foster parents are trained together, and at the end of

the groups, folks can decide to pursue adoption, foster care, or both.

Click Here for a list of upcoming classes.

Family Assessment

Along with NOAS Permanency Planning Specialists, parents will focus on

assessing their own skills and deciding what type of child(ren) will be right

for them. There will be ample time for questions. If a family chooses to be

both foster and adoptive parents, a single assessment is all that is needed.

Foster families who wish to adopt are given full consideration, as we

recognize the importance of stability for children. Generally, a family

assessment is completed within 4-5 months after the receipt of the family’s

application. The assessment needs to be updated every two years.

Learning about waiting children

Children are what this is all about! From the first contact with NOAS,

families can learn about children who are waiting for adoptive families.

If parents are interested in a child on referral to NOAS there will be ample

opportunity to talk with the NOAS worker who knows that child(ren) best. We

feel this is an essential ingredient in the recipe for success.

Click here to view some of the children waiting for a family.


Placements are not made based on how long a family has been waiting, but

rather through a matching process. Through a team effort involving both

parents and social workers, a match is made by considering the child’s needs

and the family’s ability to meet those needs.


Visiting plans are developed with all the parties involved and vary due

to the child’s age, travel distance, and other factors. During this time

initial plans will be made for school enrollment and other services the

child needs. Generally 2-4 visits occur over a several week period.


Both before and after a child is placed with an adoptive family, NOAS

staff are there to assist the family. Staff are sensitive and knowledgeable

about the process and the feelings all family members experience. They are

available to offer help, support and encouragement. Once a placement has

occurred, a social worker will continue to visit the home at least once a month.


When the family is ready to take the final step to make the new family

arrangement permanent, (generally 6-12 months after placement) NOAS staff w

ill be there to help. They work with the courts to complete the necessary

paperwork and accompany the family on this most important day.

Post-adoption services

After an adoption is legalized, our agency’s required involvement comes

to an end, however NOAS staff remain available to families whenever there

is a need–whether it is 3 months or 3 years after legalization. A home

visitor can assist families in locating needed services, linking them with

respite or just connect adoptive families with one another for support.


Since many of the children placed are school-age or older and know their

identifying information, NOAS supports the concept of openness in regards

to adoption. Many children have important connections with foster parents

or family members from their past which need to be maintained.