Resources for child welfare professionals.

We’re here to assist and support you.

We appreciate the work you do, and are honored to collaborate with state child welfare staff. The resources you’ll find here are curated to meet your needs. Click on the links below to jump directly to that section. If you’re not sure where to begin or have additional questions, please contact Executive Director Shari Levine at 1-800-772-1115,

Steps for when OA&FS and state Child Welfare collaborate.

  • 1.

    Mom receives information about planning an open adoption with a private agency as an alternative to foster care before her child is removed by CPS.

  • 2.

    Mom chooses a private adoption agency.

  • 3.

    Mom receives options counseling and information about community resources.

  • 4.

    If adoption is her choice, she selects a family from a pool of homestudy-ready families who desire an open adoption and who’ve completed the required pre-adoption training.

  • 5.

    OA&FS coordinates an adoption plan in which she meets and develops a relationship with the adoptive parents. They create a legally enforceable agreement for ongoing visits and receive relationship-building skills.

  • 6.

    The birthparent signs an OA&FS adoption consent. OA&FS places the child with the adoptive family.

  • 7.

    OA&FS supervises the placement and submits the post-placement court report.

  • 8.

    OA&FS offers birthparents lifelong counseling, and everyone has access to ongoing relationship guidance.

How OA&FS and state Child Welfare can work together.

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    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    Does the OA&FS open adoption program interfere with CPS’ role of assessing and addressing the child’s safety?

    • Since there are no safety concerns while the baby is in the hospital, there is a window of time where even at-risk moms can consider all of their options, including planning an open adoption with our agency.

    We’re committed to reunification and feel uncomfortable discussing the option of adoption with pregnant/parenting moms.

    • We understand and support your commitment to reunification. We’re also very supportive of parenting and reunification.
    • We’re advocating for moms to know about and have access to all of their options so they can make an informed choice.
    • If you’re not comfortable discussing this option with a mom, we’re hoping you’ll let us know if she’d like to learn more about it.
    • Usually in the hospital, the hospital social worker discusses options with the mom — including the option of adoption.

    Why would we work with your agency? How do you differ from other agencies?

    • We’re a local non-profit agency licensed in Oregon and Washington. We have offices in Eugene, Portland and Seattle, as well as contracted workers in Eastern Oregon.We specialize in creating successful open adoptions, (over 1,500 in 34 years), and we complete the most infant adoptions in the Northwest.
    • Our progressive services appeal to today’s expectant parents.
    • We’re the only adoption agency in the country with a birthparent-led Board of Directors.
    • We provide extensive options counseling to pregnant and parenting moms/couples.
    • We have a large, diverse pool of prospective adoptive parents so there’s a selection for expectant parents, regardless of their circumstances.
    • Our counselors have master’s degrees, and many are licensed.
    • We provide lifelong counseling and relationship guidance to birthparents free of charge.
    • We have an annual retreat for birthmoms.

    Isn’t family preservation the best and preferred outcome?

    • We fully support family preservation, but believe that choice should lie with the pregnant/parenting mom. They may not feel able to meet the reunification requirements, or feel able to parent.
    • They might have already had children removed and placed in foster care, or have already experienced a state adoption and are pregnant again. Perhaps this time they want an open adoption.
    • They may be initially successful in their efforts towards reunification. But sometimes moms continue to struggle with addiction, incarceration, homelessness, domestic violence or mental illness and their child is returned to foster care after reunification.
    • In our program, adoption is a process of choice and empowerment, and the outcome is one of inclusion and compassion.
    • In our process family preservation is achieved by adding family and support. The birth and adoptive extended families become the safety net. This recognizes and addresses the child’s need to include their birth family in their life, and the birth parent’s need not to be separated from their child.

    Are the kids safe when the expectant parents chose the family and remain in their lives?

    • We’ve worked extensively with birthparents who are struggling with addiction, and mental illness and many other risk factors.
    • It’s very meaningful to expectant parents planning adoptions to be able to choose a family. She can insure her child is being raised by a family who honors her hopes and dreams for her child.
    • When the relationship begins in a cooperative, inclusive environment, understanding and compassion between the birth and adoptive families grow.
    • Birthparents value the connection with their child and the adoptive parents. It’s very reassuring to them and they’re emotionally invested in maintaining it.

    The moms we work with aren’t interested in planning adoptions.

    • That’s a common perception in our culture.
    • We’ve found that when moms have access to our empowering and respectful open adoption process in which they hand-select the family, create a lifelong friendship with them and have an ongoing, honored role in their child’s life, then adoption becomes viable for them.
    • We believe that at-risk moms have the right to know all available options as they make key decisions for themselves and their child.