Adoption Resources & Links

The links below offer valuable information about adoption. CAP recommends them for parents who wish to educate themselves or get started in the adoption process. We do not claim responsibility for any of the information on the independent resource websites. If you run into difficulties accessing a specific website, contact Lauri McKnight at or 585-232-5110 to alert us to the problem.

Adoptive families and tax preparers need to read the forms carefully because at first glance it does not look like they can do it unless they actually spent money of their own - tell them to keep reading!!

American Academy of Pediatrics: Directory of pediatricians with a special interest in adoption and foster care medicine. 

Children's Defense Fund: The Children's Defense Fund's Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start, and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. CDF provides a strong, effective voice for all the children of America who cannot vote, lobby, or speak for themselves. 

Child Welfare Information Gateway: Resources on all aspects of domestic and intercountry adoption, including adoption from foster care. Includes information for prospective and adoptive parents; information about searching for birth relatives; and resources for professionals on recruiting adoptive families, preparing children and youth, supporting birth parents, and providing post-adoption services. 

Child Welfare League of America: The mission of the Child Welfare League of America is to ensure the safety and well-being of children and families. The CWLA advocates for the advancement of public policy, and sets and promotes the standards for best practice.

Circle of Moms: Get advice from thousands of other moms in an online private sharing circle for sharing family updates

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA): The mission of the National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association, together with its state and local members, is to support and promote court-appointed volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children so that they can thrive in safe, permanent homes.

AdoptUSKids: Finding families for our nation's waiting children. The Collaboration to AdoptUsKids is supported through a cooperative agreement between The Children's Bureau, Administration for Children & Families, the US Department of Health & Human Services and the Adoption Exchange Association. Collaboration partners include: Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work, Northwest Adoption Exchange, Holt International Children's Services and The Adoption Exchange Inc.

Adoption Tax Credit:

Please note the following: The Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148) increased the credit’s value from $12,150 (in 2009) to $13,170 in 2010  and made the credit refundable for 2010 and 2011. The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-312) made changes to the law by extending the credit through 2012, but as a non-refundable credit for the amount up to $12,650. As for now, if there is not any Congressional action taken to advance or extend the credit, in 2013 and in following years, the adoption tax credit will be limited to special needs adoption finalizations and will only be available for qualified expenses for up to a $6,000 limit.
Federal Tax Credit for Those Adopting With a Subsidy, By Margaret A. Burt, Esq.
Updated Information, 2009

As of tax year 2003, those that adopt a “special needs” child in NYS can claim a federal tax credit in the year that they adopt for each child that qualifies. This was a major change from the past when the only persons who could claim tax credits were families who had actually paid out monies to do the adoption. That tax credit still exists and is available but now our child welfare adoptions of a foster child eligible for a subsidy can take a tax credit even though the family themselves have had no out of pocket expenses.

President Obama’s health reform bill has upped the amount of the credit and in tax year 2010, the tax credit is $13,170. The family’s income is a factor – in 2009 they had to earn less than $222,180 to take the full credit but that amount will be changed yearly to reflect inflation, so check for the 2010 number. Prior to 2010, you could carry over the credit 5 years until it was used up! But under Obama’s new healthreform bill, if the credit is more than your tax liability, the difference is refunded instead ofhaving to spend years “using up” the credit!!
THIS IS A GREAT HELP - particularly for foster families that are adopting multiples. The definition of the “special needs” child that the IRS uses for purposes of eligibility includes ALL of the reasons that we give subsidies in NYS so anyone adopting a foster child who is entitled to a state adoption subsidy in NYS can take this credit if their income is within the guidelines.
Clients need to tell their tax preparers about this - many tax folks may not know about this as it is still relatively new and somewhat obscure. They should be especially careful to make sure the tax preparer understands that this is different than the rules before 2003 which required that the adoptive family have out of pocket expenses. They should tell the tax preparers that the forms to use are:
• IRS Form 8839 and
• Instructions for Form 8839. 

Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is a national, nonprofit public charity dedicated exclusively to finding permanent homes and loving families for the nearly 155,000 children waiting in North America’s foster care systems. Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's, created the Foundation in 1992 to assure that every child has a permanent home and a loving family.

Evan B. Donaldson Institute for Adoption: Research, laws, practices and policies related to adoption. 

Federal Travel Adoption Services: Dedicated to providing the quality travel services necessary to bring adoptive families together.

Georgia Department of Human Services Wednesday's Child Program: Wednesday’s Child of Georgia is a media based child-specific recruitment program utilized to heighten awareness on adoption and to improve the lives of children in foster care by helping them find permanent, loving and safe adoptive homes. 

New York State Citizen's Coalition for Children: The Coalition is concerned primarily with system-change advocacy and individuals taking responsibility for influencing and changing the systems affecting their lives and the lives of their children

North American Council on Adoptable Children: Promotes and supports permanent families for children and youth in the U.S. and Canada who have been in care especially those in foster care and those with special needs.

Orphan Foundation of America: Awards scholarships to eligible former foster youth. They are now accepting applications for scholarships (up to $5,000 per year) for the coming academic year. 

Voice for Adoption: A national coalition that has been established to actively encourage and advocate for national policies that address barriers to the adoption of waiting children and increase the understanding among the public, the media, and decision-makers of the needs of these children and the families who adopt. Voice for Adoption speaks out to insure permanent, nurturing families for our nation's most vulnerable children and to strengthen support for families who adopt. 

Adoption/Foster Care Literature

Adoptive Families: The award-winning national adoption magazine is the leading adoption information source for families before, during, and after adoption. 

Creating a Family
A Blog that provides education and resources for infertility and adoption

Fostering Families Today: a magazine about you---the parents, children and dedicated professionals in the child welfare system providing foster care and domestic adoption to children.

The Voice of Youth in Foster Care 

Tapestry Books: Online adoption book store for learning about adoption: how to adopt, international adoption, domestic adoption, and adoptive parenting, as well as adoption books for children and professionals. 

Unconditional Commitment:The only Love that Matters to Teens, by Pat O' Brien from You Gotta Believe!

"These Children's Books Featuring Adopted or Foster Kids Prove Love Makes a Family" web article from She Knows

Other Resources

Addiction Group: Information about the many treatment options available for those struggling with a substance use disorder (SUD) or alcohol use disorder (AUD).

Addiction Resource: Help recovering from an addiction for you or a loved one.

Adopt America Network: Adopt America Network is dedicated to helping place children with special circumstances, whether they are physical, emotional or something else (for instance, older children and/or siblings).

Adoption Learning Partners: Adoption Learning Partners offers an array of interactive, e-learning courses that will increase each participant's understanding of the joys and challenges of adoption.

Alcohol-Related Medical Conditions: Problems caused by alcohol

A Real Family, A Memoir: A blog about an irrestable family encouraging older child adoption 

Bethany Christian Services: Private, licensed, non-profit adoption and family service agency, serving 30 states from over 70 locations and in 13 international countries.

Cerebral Palsy Guidance: Provides vital guidance and assistance to parents of a child with cerebral palsy.

Co-Occurring Disorders: A person with a co-occurring disorder has been diagnosed with a substance abuse disorder and another mental health disorder.  Co-occurring disorders, sometimes called dual disorders, are best treated through integrated treatment that addresses both issues at the same time.

Family Drug Rehab: Addiction affect the family in many ways, including emotionally, financially, legally, and medically.  For this reason, many treatment professionals stress healing the entire family unit.

Financial Empowerment for Youth Who Age Out of Foster Care: When youths get close to aging out of foster care, it’s important to plan for emancipation. Aging out of foster care — or emancipating — is the termination of court jurisdiction over youths formally in foster care. U.S. federal law requires a transition plan to be established six months before a youth’s 18th birthday, but this is a crucial time to plan to ensure a youth's success and financial future.

Foster Parent Assistant  provides foster parents with a central location for keeping track of information on each their foster children. It will track the name, DOB, date arrived, biological parent name, etc. for each foster child. In addition, foster parents can enter information on each foster child's social worker and attorney if desired. View more features and download

Foster Parent College: Provides online classes for prospective and current foster and adoptive parents 

Foster Care & Adoptive Community: Online training program dedicated to working with "at risk" children

Georgia Substance Abuse Treatment

Guide to Financial Empowerment for Youth Who Have Aged Out of Foster Care

How to Support Expectant and Birth Mothers Throughout an Adoption

Masters in Social Work Online: This website is designed as a resource hub for prospective social workers as well as social workers already in the field.

National Adoption Association: "Leaders advancing Best proactices in adoption from foster care." NAA (formerly Adoption Exchange Association) provides valuable continuing education and credentialing services to more than 500 adoption workers at public and private child welfare agencies each year. NAA is the only national association focused exclusively on supporting the educational needs of those in the adoption profession and future professionals - masters and bachelors level social work students.  

National Adoption Center: Their inspiration comes from the belief that "there are no unwanted children, just unfound families" 

National Black Child Development Institute: Dedicated to improving the quality of life for African American children

Nurture Adopt:  Extensive resources for exploring adoption options, supports & information 

Physical Disabilities and Oral Health: Disabilities may limit an individual's mobilty, stamina, or physical functioning, making it challenging to maintain good oral hygiene, and some disorders may also have accompanying oral symptoms.

Zach Wahls Speaks about Family