At Open Adoption & Family Services we are pro-choice, welcome diversity, and offer fully open adoptions with lifelong services.

"The seminar was valuable in that it gave more insight on OA&FS and the philosophy it embodies. It also made us realize we had found the right place at the right time. It took away any fears." - OA&FS Seminar Attendee

"We came to OA&FS by word of mouth with great recommendations. The philosophy of openness and honesty is a value we embrace and choose to live by." - OA&FS Adoptive Parents

"By being able to actually meet birthparents and adoptive parents, it cemented the process and expectations for us. Understanding how the birthparents are counseled made us feel like the best interests of the child are paramount." - OA&FS Seminar Attendee

"Very good services, openly welcoming and affirming for gays and lesbians." - OA&FS Adoptive Parents

"I respect the philosophical perspective of OA&FS - the commitment to everyone involved in the process. I also appreciate the recognition of gay couples and single parents." - OA&FS Seminar Attendee

Families of Open Adoption & Family Services

About Open Adoption & Family Services.

Open Adoption & Family Services, (OA&FS), is a non-profit, pro-choice agency that welcomes diversity. Pregnant individuals receive compassion and unbiased support as they explore all of their pregnancy options. If they decide to plan an open adoption, they choose, meet and create a relationship with adoptive parents similar to an extended family. Our fully open adoptions include ongoing visits and lifelong services.

OA&FS is the first and only agency in the Pacific Northwest founded on the philosophy of openness in adoption. We do more domestically-born newborn placements than any other agency in the region. Our first office opened in Eugene, Oregon in 1985. We're now licensed in both Oregon and Washington and provide services throughout the entire United States. Our offices are located in Seattle, Portland and Eugene.

We're also part of an innovative partnership. Open Adoption & Family Services and Friends in Adoption have teamed up to form the National Pro-Choice Adoption Collaborative (NPAC), a union of two high-integrity agencies with a shared philosophy. We’re pro-choice, not religiously affiliated, embrace diversity and offer lifelong services. With our empowerment model, we’ve become the national experts in open adoption. Each of our non-profit agencies has 30+ years of experience, and we place children up to the age of three and one-half in open adoptions. We have offices on the east and west coasts, and work with expectant parents nationwide.

Connect with us.

Are you pregnant or parenting? Or is your partner, or someone close to you, pregnant or parenting? Learn more about the support we can provide. We’re honored to offer our services to women and couples throughout the United States. If you live in the Northwest and would like to meet in person we have offices in Portland and Eugene, Oregon and Seattle, Washington or we’ll come to you. Or, connect with a call, text or fill out our online inquiry form. (OA&FS can place children in adoption up to the age of three and one-half.)

If you're pregnant and would like to explore your options:

Call 1-800-772-1115.

A counselor can talk with you now. We’re available 24/7 to listen and provide you with a compassionate, non-judgmental space to talk about your thoughts and feelings. You’ll be treated with dignity and respect as you explore all of your options.

Text "open" to 971-266-0924.

Text answering available 9 am-5 pm PST, Monday through Friday.

A counselor will contact you shortly when submitted Monday-Friday from 9 am-5 pm PST. If outside of these hours, we’ll reach out to you the following weekday.

Para Español: 800-985-6763.

Oficinas ubicadas en Oregon y Washington. Sirviendo a mujeres embarazadas y parejas por todos los Estados Unidos.

If you're a prospective adoptive parent:

Call for info. 503-226-4870

Our Client Services Manager is here to help you Monday thru Friday, 9 am-5 pm PST. She can answer your specific questions and also sign you up for our free Adoption Information Meeting or Adoptive Parent Seminar! To get free info anytime fill out the online form.

For Origins Counseling inquiries:

Call 1-800-309-2146

to schedule your appointment. This line will be answered by a live person Mon.-Fri. from 9 am- 5 pm. If calling outside of these times, please leave a message and we'll return your call during business hours. Or, use our online inquiry form.

For all other inquiries email OA&FS:

Or contact one of our offices:

Portland (Directions)
5200 SW Macadam Suite 250,
Portland, OR 97239
315 West 10th Ave.,
Eugene, OR 97401

2815 Eastlake Ave. E., Suite 160
Seattle, WA 98102

We're proud to be the only adoption agency in the U.S. with a birthmother as Board President.

At OA&FS, the value we place on the experiences of birthparents is evident in the leadership roles they hold on our board of directors. Birthmom, Sage Carter is our Board president, birthmom Melissa Busch is our vice-president, and birthfather Garret Garfield is the first birthfather on our board. We want to ensure that our programs reflect their insights, in fact all of our board members are living open adoptions.

Sage Carter is the executive assistant to the head of the Oregon Episcopal School. She has a Master’s in Education with a focus in public policy. She shared, “At OA&FS and in our family we are all respected as an integral part of raising a child. As a birthmom, I am no less important, I just play a different role and OA&FS taught us how to boldly make space for everyone”.

At OA&FS we trust women to make their own reproductive decisions, and we trust birthparents to have leadership roles on our board. That means our services and programs are shaped and endorsed by birthparents. After an era of adoptions in our country in which birthmoms stated that their adoptions didn’t meet their needs, we can finally turn that ship around, by having birthmoms chart the next era of adoption. We are proud to have Sage Carter at the helm.

An adoption counselor

Sage Carter, President, Open Adoption & Family Services Board of Directors.

OA&FS Board of Directors

  • Vice-President Melissa Busch

    RN, Providence Health Services, Political Candidate OR SD16.

  • President Sage Carter

    OA&FS Birth Mother.

  • Nathan Faust

    OA&FS Adoptee, Undergraduate Admissions Counselor, Loyola Marymount University.

  • Garrett Garfield

    OA&FS Birth Father, Partner, Holland & Knight, LLP.

  • Secretary Michele Greco

    OA&FS Adoptive Parent, Mindfulness Based Life & Business Coach.

  • Jennifer Johnson

    OA&FS Adoptive Parent.

  • Alisha Phillips

    OA&FS Adoptive Parent.

  • Mark Spaur

    OA&FS Adoptive Parent, Vice President, Kennedy/Jenks Consultants.

  • Steve Stegeman

    OA&FS Adoptive Parent, Partner, Davis & Graves, CPA LLP.

  • Suzie Williams

    Executive Director at OA&FS.

  • April Vanderkamp

    OA&FS Adoptee, Nurse.

How does counseling help expectant parents?

Counseling offers you a safe place to explore all of your options. We’re here to empower you with the information you need to make the choice that feels best to you. We are honored to offer you compassion, understanding and respect.

What makes us different from most adoption agencies is that we are here to support you no matter what decision you make. We are a non-profit, pro-choice agency not affiliated with any religion, and will treat you with dignity and respect. If you'd like to meet a counselor in person, we have offices in Portland, Eugene and Seattle or we're happy to come to you.

What to expect during pregnancy options counseling.

An OA&FS counselor will listen and provide support as you consider each of your choices: parenting, abortion or adoption. You’ll explore questions such as:

  • How would each choice affect my everyday life?
  • How do each of the choices fit with my values and beliefs?
  • What would each choice mean to the people closest to me?
  • Who can I count on to support me through this process?
  • What are my plans for the future?

An adoption counselor

An adoptive mother with her child

Redefining family: The mindset of inclusion.

What is a “real family”? Did you grow up in a real family? As an adult did you create a real family? At OA&FS we’ve been challenging the social construct of what a real family looks like since our founding in 1985. At our agency, families are created by bringing together a network of friends and family members that encompasses all of the cherished people in the child’s life. As captured in the following family story, these relationships are mutually beneficial; my connections with my children’s birth families are among the most meaningful in my life. Genuine open adoption is about cultivating a mindset of inclusion that breaks down the walls of biology.

What does it mean to have an OA&FS extended family relationship? This will understandably look different for everyone. Every family, whether formed through adoption or biology, is in a constant state of evolution. In our open adoptions babies are born, siblings are welcomed, marriages/partnerships are formed bringing new extended family members, friendships are encouraged, and there is a place for everyone at the table.

This mindset of inclusion provides a guide for OA&FS adoptions that can be extended to a wide spectrum of circumstances. By being hospitious and focusing on the quality of the individual relationships, adoptive parents can create a welcoming environment for all of the players. Since each family is unique, there’s no “right way” to accomplish this. So, for instance, even if a birthparent is out of touch, there may be other birthfamily members, friends, teachers, or mentors who can fill these essential roles in the child’s life. It’s about being flexible, accepting and open to the possibilities.

The relationships we cultivate will be invaluable to our children as they’re launched and enter adulthood. Adopted kids, especially, need to know who’s on their team as they make their way as an independent person in the world.

Our model teaches kids how to build and expand a support system. This new generation of open adoptees will develop their own network of family and friends based on the mindset of inclusion that they actively participated in throughout their childhood. As adoptee Kaya says in the story inside, their family is, and always will be, as real as any other.

Read Open Adoptee Kaya's Story

Give now to Open Adoption & Family Services.

Thank you so much for your support.


Agency news.

  • We are not hiring at this time, but check back often for any new positions that may come available!

OA&FS in the media.

Our expertise: open adoption and reproductive choices.


Media Inquiries

Interested in writing a story about Open Adoption & Family Services? Need a source for open adoption or reproductive choices information? You've come to the right place. Simply contact our Marketing and Development Director Sally Shuey, 503-226-4870, She'll be happy to make connections for you.



Because of our agency's decades of experience, we often give presentations to groups both locally and nationally. For these presentations on the changing world of adoption, we draw from materials developed by OA&FS as well as other subject matter experts. Click below to download materials of interest to you. If you'd like to schedule OA&FS to speak at your organization, please contact us.

Counselor Sari with OA&FS adoptee Emma and adoptive parents Kevin and Joe

Counselor Sari with OA&FS adoptee Emma and adoptive parents Kevin and Joe.

Meet our staff.

Dedicated, professional and hospitous.

We care deeply about the needs of the clients we serve. Our counselors embody all that hospitiousness celebrates -- working with clients in a way that gives them a sense of being completely welcomed, accepted and comfortable. Our offices are located in Oregon and Washington, and from that base counselors work with clients throughout the U.S. Their social services experience, advanced degrees and ability to navigate a wide variety of situations make them key pillars of the OA&FS mission. Our support staff enriches these efforts with specialized expertise in program management, client support, marketing and financial services.


Management and Counseling Staff

Suzie Williams, MA, Executive Director

Suzie joined OA&FS in 1993, and gained perspective through years working as a Counselor and later, Program Manager. She appreciates that our agency is committed to growing and evolving as we learn from those living in open adoptions. Suzie is inspired by the compassion, honesty, and integrity that birth families and adoptive families model for their children within their open adoption relationships.

Suzie Williams - Counselor and Program Manager of Open Adoption and Family Services

Maria Villegas, LCSW, Co-Program Manager

Maria re-joined the OA&FS staff in 2021. Her history as an OA&FS Counselor, as well as working in private practice, informs her expertise in managing our Counseling program. She supports counselors as they assist clients in exploring the options that are available to them, while also talking through what their priorities are. She is continually inspired by the resilience of our open adoption community.

Suzie Williams - Counselor and Program Manager of Open Adoption and Family Services

Sari Prevost, MA, Counselor

Sari came to OA&FS in 2002, and loves how she is always challenged to be the best that she can be at her job. She is impressed and inspired by the families she works with that allow her to witness their transformation as they move through amazing journeys. Sari is honored to be a part of an agency that has great integrity and is truly a leader in fully open, respectful, hospitious adoptions.

Sari Prevost - Counselor of Open Adoption and Family Services

Amy DeGennaro, MSW, Counselor

Amy graduated in 2002 with an MSW from Boston University. She has worked in child welfare, and most specifically adoption, for the majority of her career in social work. She was a Counselor for OA&FS from 2003–2009 and just recently returned to the agency after taking time to be at home with her two daughters. She is excited to continue this work armed with a different perspective and insight that parenting brings. Amy has always been, and continues to be, inspired by the incredible strength, vulnerability and compassion shown by birth and adoptive families who continue to show up for one another with love and respect.

Lily Hankins - Counselor of Open Adoption and Family Services

Support Staff

Sally Shuey, Communications Director

Sally brought her love of all things marketing to OA&FS in 2012. Tasked with directing the communications, fundraising and events efforts for the agency, She's inspired by the OA&FS mission and welcoming spirit. Sally specializes in strategic marketing, social media, web design and print production, and uses these platforms to connect people in need of pregnancy counseling and open adoption services to OA&FS.

Sally Shuey - Marketing and Development Director of Open Adoption and Family Services

Lori Maas, Client Services Manager

Lori has been at the support helm of OA&FS since 1999. She enjoys working closely with prospective adoptive parents as they explore their options and providing ongoing support to both clients and counseling staff throughout the adoption process.

Lori Maas - Client Services Manager of Open Adoption and Family Services

Cindy Lee, Fiscal Manager

Cindy joined OA&FS in 1996. She began her tenure as Office Manager, and added fiscal responsibilities in 1999. Cindy also coordinates IT and HR for the agency. She loves the diversity of her job and appreciates the amazing staff she works with on a daily basis. Cindy takes great satisfaction in working for a non-profit that's continually evolving and finding new ways to be more inclusive and transparent in the services it offers.

Cindy Lee - Fiscal Manager of Open Adoption and Family Services


Management and Counseling Staff

Jan Jamieson, BA, Regional Supervisor /Counselor

Jan became a part of OA&FS in 2005. She loves the opportunity to work with and meet so many amazing, insightful, generous people. Jan is honored to watch as open adoptions unfold over time, especially when she hears stories from birthparents, adoptive parents, and their children talk about how much they all care about one another.

Jan Jamieson - Regional Supervisor and Counselor of Open Adoption and Family Services Eugene

Angela O'Neil, BS, Counselor

Angela joined OA&FS in 2021.

Jan Jamieson - Regional Supervisor and Counselor of Open Adoption and Family Services Eugene

Adam Thomas, Systems Administrator and Outreach Supervisor

Adam first joined the Eugene OA&FS team in 2016. He grew up in Oklahoma, but his love of the outdoors brought him to the great state of Oregon in 2014. He has a passion for helping others, and finds he does his best work through providing assistance to those in need. He enjoys volunteering his time at the sake of making someone's day better, and loves to share his knowledge and expertise when he sees an opportunity to jump in and help. He is passionate about open adoption, and the work OA&FS does not only with counseling and open adoption, but within the pro-choice community as a whole.

Irie Hoffman - Counselor of Open Adoption and Family Services Eugene


Management and Counseling Staff

Delphine Veith, MSW, Co-Program Manager and Counselor

Delphine joined OA&FS as a counselor in 2015. She appreciates being part of people’s journeys at a pivotal time in their lives, and being able to witness the unfolding of new families and relationships over time through open adoptions. Delphine is proud of the progressive history of OA&FS, including providing full options counseling for expectant parents. She strives to support everyone in making informed and empowered decisions for themselves and for their children, and enjoys the diverse group of people she interacts with through this work.

Delphine Veith - Counselor of Open Adoption and Family Services Seattle

Lynn Skirven, LICSW, Counselor

Lynn comes to open adoption with a variety of experiences in child welfare. After working in the foster care system, she recognized the importance of building a healthy and deep connection between birth an adoptive families. Lynn is drawn to OA&FS' progressive and empowering approach to open adoption.

Lynn Skirven - Open Adoption and Family Services Seattle

Leah Lusk, MA, LMHCA, Counselor

Leah joined OA&FS in 2021. Counseling is her second career after many years as an editor, and the common thread for her is the beauty of helping people write their own stories. As an adoptive person, she is honored to now work in a facilitative role supporting and witnessing the establishment of lifelong connections that benefit adoptive children and their families. She was drawn to OA&FS because of the organization’s commitment to transparency, openness and continual teaching and learning.

Lynn Skirven - Open Adoption and Family Services Seattle

Support Staff

Katie Lightner, Office Manager / Outreach Coordinator

Katie joined the Seattle OA&FS team in 2018 and is grateful for the opportunity to support the Counselors as they help expectant parents explore crucial decisions. She has been a social worker for more than 15 years and is passionate about doing work that helps people feel supported and have the education they need to move forward in their lives. Katie believes that open adoption is an important, viable way to create a loving family and enjoys talking with service providers about the way OA&FS facilitates open adoptions.

Megan Mehlum - Office Manager / Outreach Coordinator of Open Adoption and Family Services Seattle

Hear from families living in open adoptions.

We're amazed by the abundance of misinformation concerning open adoption. One of the ways we counter this is by sharing stories from OA&FS families. These first-person narratives give voice to the many benefits of child-centered open adoptions.

Have a take you’d like to share? Stories are welcome from all points of the adoption constellation. Please contact Marketing & Development Director Sally Shuey at She'll be very happy to hear from you.

Read Open Page Blog
Another family brought together by Open Adoption Family Services

About open adoption.

The field of adoption has undergone sweeping changes over the years. In fact, according to a recent research project by the Donaldson Adoption Institute (a national adoption think tank), the era of closed adoption is over. In their report, “Untangling the Web: The Internet’s Transformative Impact on Adoption” they state that, since the process of finding birth relatives is accessible and commonplace, closed adoptions are a thing of the past.

At Open Adoption & Family Services, we have been cultivating and supporting open adoptions since our inception in 1985. In an open adoption, birthparents choose adoptive parents after reading a comprehensive packet of materials about them. They meet and create a relationship that is similar to an extended family. Since our expertise is in the area of relationship development, we work with birth and adoptive parents to help them build a strong and healthy foundation to their open adoption relationship. Together, they create a legally enforceable adoption agreement that outlines their ongoing visits.

Ongoing contact provides birthparents with the reassurance that their child is thriving in the adoptive home. This helps them feel at peace with their decision. Knowing that the birthparents fully support the adoption, the adoptive parents feel secure in welcoming the birthparents into their lives.

Open adoption relationships are built on a foundation of mutual respect. In an open adoption, adoptive parents and birthparents value one another’s unique role in the child’s life. By witnessing this relationship, the child feels an unconditional acceptance of his full identity. The child has direct access to information about his history and answers to his questions. This allows for healthy development of the child’s identity and self-esteem. Children need to know that these important people believe in them, love them, and celebrate them.

OA&FS is a non-profit, pro-choice agency that offers an empowerment model to expectant parents. They are treated with dignity and respect as they explore all of their pregnancy options. They are empowered with extensive information so they can make the decision that feels best to them. Regardless of their choice, they receive compassion and support.

We honor diversity and welcome same-sex couples, single parents, as well as married couples. Our fully open adoptions include ongoing visits and lifelong services. We provide adoption-related counseling, relationship guidance and mediation. We have a thriving open adoption community, with ongoing events throughout the year, including a birthmother’s retreat. All services are free of charge to expectant parents and birthparents.

At OA&FS, our goal is for all of our clients – birthparents, adoptive parents and open adoptees – to feel at home in their open adoptions. Feeling at home is the reassuring sense of being completely welcomed, accepted and comfortable.

Adoption has changed tremendously since the days of closed adoption. Adoption has come out of the shadows and shed decades of secrecy. Now birth and adoptive parents form natural friendships that meet the ongoing needs of the child. Adoption is an experience they can all regard with pride.

Written by Shari Levine, MA. Shari is the Executive Director of Open Adoption and Family Services and has been with the agency since 1992. She’s also the adoptive mom of two children who were born and raised in open adoptions. Shari has very close relationships with both of their birthmoms.

Adoptive parents meeting their adoptive child for the first time

Logo for the National Pro-Choice Adoption Collaborative

Connect with the experts in all-options counseling and open adoption.

Open Adoption & Family Services (OA&FS) and Friends in Adoption (FIA), two non-profit, high-integrity, national agencies have formed The National Pro-choice Adoption Collaborative, (NPAC). Our agencies are very unique in that we are pro-choice, not religiously affiliated and do not discriminate.

Much misinformation still exists about adoption. Many unsuspecting women fall prey to exploitative, for-profit adoption facilitators. Additionally, over 95% of adoption agencies are religiously affiliated, advocating an anti-choice agenda and antiquated adoption practices.

NPAC provides an empowerment model to expectant parents, and will truly honor your individual choice. We are the experts in open adoption. The genuine and lasting child-centered relationship is at the core of our high-quality option adoptions. Over the past thirty five years we’ve placed nearly 4,000 children.

Learn More About NPAC

Access our free webinars for service providers

We  offer webinars on a variety of topics related to pregnancy options counseling and open adoption. Visit our webinars page to see all listings and register, or click on the links below.

WEBINAR SERIES. The Power of Choice: Bringing Open Adoption into All-Options Counseling (Three Parts)
WEBINAR. Open Adoption Alternative to Foster Care

The future we work towards.

A tree in a meadow filled with flowers

What should adoption look like five or ten years from now? Whose voice will affect the trajectory of adoption? At OA&FS we gain our insights from listening to the experiences of open adoptees. This infographic traces the history of adoption over decades, and brings us to a new level of understanding about what adoptees truly need.

Infographic: The Adoption Reform Movement Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

A table which includes information regarding the past, present, and future of the adoption reform movement

Click on image to view full size, download and print.

Publications with first hand experience.

At Open Adoption & Family Services, we've learned so much from working with expectant parents and families who are in the midst of making decisions regarding reproductive choices and open adoption. We feel strongly that this learning should be shared, and regularly publish original articles that illuminate the multi-dimensional experiences of our clients. Read our annual reports and "Open Page" newsletters below for stories, insights and continuing education.

OA&FS Annual Reports

"Open Page" Newsletter

Our "Open Page" newsletter is now a blog, however you can access back issues here:

  • Spring 2014 (PDF). Articles include: Openness as an Attachment Enhancer, Talking with your Child about Their Adoption, Make Lasting Connections Through Groups, Teen Affinity Group, Agency News -- Birthmothers' Retreat, Out-of-State Placements UP, Origins Therapy.
  • Summer 2013. Articles include: Celebrating Marriage Equality in Washington, Adoption Transparency Law, How to Talk About your Open Adoption, Agency News -- Marketing and More, Birthmothers' Celebrated at Retreat.
  • Fall 2012 (PDF). Articles include: Hospitality in Action; Keep OA&FS in the Loop. This keepsake edition provides a unique picture of how truly hospitious open adoptions work in the real world.
  • Spring 2012 (PDF). Articles include: Feeling at Home in Your Open Adoption; Gritter Event; Developing Resiliency: Seven Core Beliefs; Milestones and Changes by OA&FS Birthmother and Birthmother Mentor Bethany; Communicating to Resolve Issues also by Bethany.
  • Winter 2011. Articles include: About My Open Adoption by Ariel (Open Adoptee); Why We Chose Open Adoption by Ariel's Family; Milestone Reached with DHS; OA&FS Sister Agencies; The Birthmom to Birthmom Connection by Liane (OA&FS Birthmother).
  • Summer 2011. Articles include: New OA&FS Web Site Launches, Creating Community by OA&FS Adoptive Mother Lisa Adriance, Becoming A Family by OA&FS Adoptive Father Scobie Puchtler, Resource for Seattle-Area Families by OA&FS Adoptive Mother and AFFGS Volunteer Toni Higgs, Bulgarian Adoption Professionals Visit OA&FS, Open Adoption: What Do You Want the World to Know? and more.
  • Fall 2010, (PDF). OA&FS 25th Anniversary Issue, articles include: Raising Awareness About Open Adoption; Remembering Annette Baran; Meet Board Member April Vanderkamp (Open Adoptee); Pregnancy Options Dialogue in Portland; Birthmother Retreat 2010; Volunteer Spotlight: A Birthmom Shares Her Wisdom; OA&FS Joins the Adoption Access Network.
  • Winter 2010. Articles include: Opening Adoption: A National Trend; Do You Have Any Children? by Birthmom and OA&FS Board Member Melissa Busch; Study Includes OA&FS Families; Culture, Race and Opennness; Birthparent Grief and Openness; Support for Adoptive Parents.
  • Summer 2009 (PDF). Transracial adoption issue, articles include: Preparing for Transracial Adoption; Pregnancy Options Dialogue, Interview with Claire (Open Adoptee adopted transracially); Lifegivers: An Annual Retreat for Birthmothers; Words from Adoptive Parents Who Adopted Transracially; Resources for Transracial Adoption; A Transracially-Adopted Child’s Bill of Rights.
  • Winter 2008 (PDF). Articles include: Dialogue with David (Open Adoptee and OA&FS Board Member); Rain or Shine Children’s Book Now Available; This I Believe by Ashleigh (Birth sister of Lela); Adoption Dialogue; Dan Savage; Making Room In Our Hearts book review by Kathleen Silber; OA&FS Teen Panel and Birthmother’s Story DVDs Available.
  • Spring 2008 (PDF). Articles include: Benefits of Birthfather Involvement; Birthfather’s Matter; Including Birthfathers?; Juno movie review by Shari Levine (OA&FS Executive Director); 2008 Client Survey.
  • Summer 2007 (PDF). Articles include: Out of Touch 2: Guidance from a Birthparent on Maintaining Contact; Sharing the News: Why Adoptive Parents Might Slip Out of Touch by Carol Merwin (OA&FS Board Member and Adoptive Mother); Life Challenges Can Create Distance; Insights from Lifegivers Retreat
  • Spring 2007 (PDF). Articles include: Openness Without Contact?; Out of Touch: Why Some Birthparents Are Unable to Stay in Contact; Honoring Sibling Connections; Tool Kit for Creating a Culture of Openness In Your Adoption; Ask Astrid; Openness A to Z by Carol Merwin (OA&FS Board Member and Adoptive Mother).

Attachment and Adoption

Books and Publications:



Children’s Books

Books and Publications:

Open Adoption


Books and Publications:


Origins Therapy


  • Donor Conception Network. A site that welcomes couples and individuals – heterosexual, lesbian, gay, single, married, divorced or cohabiting – who are facing issues about donor conception at any stage, and would like to hear the experiences of those of us who have been there before. (UK-based.)
  • Donor Sibling Registry. A registry that offers an opportunity for donor conceived people (children and adults) to make connections with half siblings and donors by mutual consent of all parties.
  • What is Assisted Reproductive Technology?  U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention formal definitions of ART.

Books and Publications:

  • Building Your Family with Assisted Reproduction.  by Elizabeth Larsen for Adoptive Families Magazine. A look at choices American families are making as infertility treatment technology advances.
  • X, Y, and Me. this website carries a series of children’s books to assist parents in disclosing their conception by assisted reproduction and donor. They believe that every child has the right to know of his/her circumstances and their special story that occurred before they were born.

Parenting the Adopted Child


Books and Publications:


Parenting and Discipline Strategies


  • Hand in Hand Parenting has classes, resources and support for parents of young children and professionals who work with them.
  • Healthy Children created by the American Academy of Pediatrics, this website covers topics such as physical and emotional health, child development, car-seat safety, immunizations, general safety tips and injury prevention, literature recommendations, and links to other resources.
  • Zero to Three promotes the health and development of infants and toddlers.


Books and Publications:

Pregnancy Options


  • Abortion Care Network. Organization that has a list of reputable clinics and offers guidance with choosing a provider, acquiring financial support and more.”


  • All-Options. Toll-free talk line provides unconditional and judgment-free support for the full spectrum of decisions, feelings and experiences with pregnancy, parenting, adoption and abortion.
  • Birthmom Buds. Support for birthmoms and pregnant women considering adoption.

Books and Publications:

Prenatal Drug and Alcohol Exposure


  • March of Dimes. Fact sheets on the effects of prenatal exposure to tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, heroine, and prescription opiods.
  • Mother to Baby. A service of the non-profit Organization of Teratology Information Specialists. They provide evidence-based information on prenatal drug exposure via fact sheets and access to experts.

Books and Publications:



  • Babies First! Is a state-wide nurse home visiting program for families in Oregon with babies and children up to age five. Nurses provide parents with information on home safety, child development, healthy practices, relationship-building, and help with breastfeeding.
  • CaCoon is a state-wide program and operates in most counties. It's for children with a disability or a chronic health condition.
  • Center for Adoption Medicine, University of Washington Medical Center. Information and articles on prenatal drug/alcohol exposure, various medical issues, parenting and attachment tips.Doctors specializing in adoption medicine are available for phone consultation, as well as pre-adoption and post-adoption clinic appointments.
  • Child Development and Rehabilitation Center. With locations in Portland and Eugene, the center provides comprehensive diagnosis, evaluation, and management of various conditions including developmental delay, speech and language disorders, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and orthopedic impairments. CDRC serves individuals birth to 21 years of age. A primary care physician referral is necessary.
  • Early Childhood Cares. Developmental screening, early intervention and early childhood special education to children (birth to school age) who have developmental delays. Educational services may include home visits and parent consultation; education in community preschools; speech, physical or occupational therapy; behavior or autism consultation.  All educational services are free to eligible children.
  • Early Intervention. Useful links and directory of early intervention services for the state of Oregon.
  • WA State Dept. of Children, Youth & Families . Guide to early intervention services offered in Washington.
  • Pediatric Interim Care Center, (PICC)  This center located in Kent, WA cares for drug exposed infants that are in the custody of the state. Founder Barb Drennen works closely with pediatricians at University of Washington in caring for these premature newborns. She's happy to talk to prospective adoptive parents considering adopting a drug exposed infant. Rather than cite research, Barb can share her knowledge that is based on her experience and what she has witnessed. Both Barb and the PICC website have information on how to care for an infant exposed to drugs, as well as what symptoms you can expect to see. She can give hands-on instruction or consult over the phone, 253-852-5253.
  • University of Washington’s Fetal Alcohol and Drug Unit. An information specialist can provide information on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, potential effects of prenatal alcohol exposure and parenting interventions for those raising a child affected by prenatal alcohol exposure.
  • Washington State Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Diagnostic and Prevention Network, (FAS DPN). This organization is a network of four Washington State community-based interdisciplinary FASD diagnostic clinics linked by the core clinical/research/training clinic at the Center on Human Development and Disability at the University of Washington in Seattle. Any parent who adopts a child with documented prenatal alcohol exposure is strongly encouraged to contact the clinic and explore and learn more about the diagnostic process and the importance of early intervention. We recommend reviewing this site prior to your adoption.


Special Needs and Mental Health Issues

(See also Prenatal Drug and Alcohol Exposure for other special needs resources.)



Transracial Adoption, Race and Multi-Racial Issues

Online Courses:

  • Adoption Learning Partners offers several compelling and informative online courses and webinars for adoptive parents considering transracial adoption, or for those who have adopted transracially. Some of these include: Adopted: The Identity Project, Raising Black Boys, Raising Black Girls, Color of Education, and Perspectives on Transracial Adoption, and Conspicuous Families.


  • MAVIN is a national non-profit organization that builds healthier communities by providing educational resources about Mixed Heritage experiences.
  • The Adopted Life
  • is a website dedicated to raising race-conscious kids.


  • Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) is a grassroots organization that helps empower Asian and Pacific Islanders through a variety of programs that focus on community organization, cultural work, political advocacy, and leadership development.
  • El Centro Milagro (Miracle Theatre)  provides Latino theatre, culture, and arts education for the enrichment of all communities.
  • Hacienda Community Development Corporation is a Latino Community Development Corporation that strengthens families by providing affordable housing, homeownership support, economic advancement and educational opportunities.
  • Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) offers a wide array of programs and services to foster understanding, compassion and communication between Oregon's established communities and newest arrivals.
  • IRCO Africa House provides culturally specific services to African refugees and families that emphasize family unity, strength, and community cohesiveness.
  • IRCO Asian Family Center provides culturally specific services for Asian and Pacific Islander communities that focus on early childhood development, parent education and support, youth services, and health education programs.
  • KairosPDX is a non-profit organization that focuses on delivering excellent, equitable education to underserved children, their families and their communities.
  • Latino Network is a Latino-led education organization, grounded in culturally specific practices and services that lifts up youth and families to reach their full potential.
  • MAVIN Foundation is a national non-profit organization that builds healthier communities by providing educational resources about Mixed Heritage experiences.
  • Native Youth and Family Center (NAYA Family Center) provides culturally specific programs and services that guide Native youth and families in the direction of personal success and balance through cultural empowerment.
  • Portland African American Leadership Forum (PAALF)  is a movement of African American leaders and officials that are committed to the revitalization and sustainability of a vibrant African American community.
  • Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives (PCRI) offers resident services that give families culturally specific skills and support necessary to achieve self-sufficiency, begin the process of wealth creation and, in many cases, become–and remain–successful homeowners.
  • Self-Enhancement Inc. (SEI) is a non-profit organization that helps youth and families, especially African Americans and others living in poverty, to realize their full potential through learning opportunities in the areas of academics, health and wellness, and performing arts.
  • Unite Oregon represents the merger of two organizations – Center for Intercultural Organizing (CIO) and Oregon Action (OA) –  to address racial and economic disparities and strive to improve quality of life by offering programs within the community that focus on civic engagement, policy advocacy, leadership development, and community organization.
  • Urban League of Portland (ULPDX) offers a variety of programs that help empower African Americans and others within the community through advocacy, services to seniors, family health and wellness, youth and workforce development.


  • Asian Adult Adoptees of Washington (AAAW) is a non-profit organization that provides mentoring, fellowship and educational opportunities for Asian American and Pacific Islander adoptees and their community.
  • El Centro de la Raza provides a unique blend of bilingual and multicultural services and programs that focus on children and youth, education and asset building, community building and development, and environmental justice.
  • Families of Color Seattle (FOCS) is a non-profit organization that strives to build a strong community by supporting families of color through parenting programs, resource-sharing and fostering meaningful connections.
  • Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington is an organization that is committed to sharing Japanese and Japanese American culture and heritage by creating, funding, and supporting multicultural and inter-generational education that celebrate diversity, art, culture, and language.
  • Seattle University: Office of Diversity and Inclusion consistently holds cultural events for students and community members to attend.
  • United Indians of All Tribes provides educational, cultural and social services that reconnect indigenous people in the Puget Sound region to their heritage by strengthening their sense of belonging and significance as Native people.
  • Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle is a non-profit organization that empowers African Americans and underserved communities to thrive by securing educational and economic opportunities.


Books and Publications: