Adoptalk & Publications



  Adoption Month




NACAC Publications

The publications described below were produced by the North American Council on Adoptable Children. You can download many of them for free. To purchase a hard copy, you may download an order form and mail or fax it to NACAC. Please note that it will take about two to three weeks for you to receive your order. If you would like more immediate service, please call us at 651-644-3036 with your credit card information. For the publications that are not available in PDF, you can purchase through PayPal using the menu and button below.


Adoptalk (view sample articles or Adoptalk Sampler)
NACAC's quarterly newsletter — available to all NACAC members — contains resources for adoption professionals, foster and adoptive parents, and child advocates. Articles examine state and federal legislation related to adoption and foster care, parenting special needs children, and much more. Published quarterly by NACAC staff


Achieving Permanence for Every Child: The Effective Use of Adoption Subsidies
(Executive Summary)

This research brief presents a state-by-state comparison of the differences between foster care and adoption subsidy rates, and discusses barriers to permanence caused by this disparity. The book also offers a tool for agencies and individuals to use when advocating for changes in their state's adoption subsidy program. July 1998 by Jeanette Wiedemeier Bower, M.P.A.


Achieving Permanence for Every Child: A Guide for Limiting the Use of Long-Term Foster Care as a Permanent Plan
(Executive Summary)
This guide presents child welfare system barriers that result in the overuse of long-term foster care as a permanent plan, and identifies ways to overcome these barriers. A self-assessment tool encourages practitioners to look critically at their systems and challenge themselves to explore alternatives to long-term care. July 1997 by Kate Welty, M.A.


Adoption 101 Curriculum
This adoption awareness curriculum is designed to help adoptive parent group leaders and others train child welfare, medical, legal, education, and mental health professionals, and other community members to be more responsive to the needs of adopted children and to work more effectively with their families. Issues covered include common special needs, transracial adoptions, understanding how adoption is different, core issues of adoption, and many more.

A PDF of the Curriculum can be downloaded at no charge. (Please note the curriculum is 158 pages.) 2004 by Janet Jerve and Diane Martin-Hushman.


Adoption Assistance in America: A Programmatic Analysis Fifteen Years after Federal Implementation
(Executive Summary)

Do you have questions about either federal or state adoption assistance programs? This report identifies and analyzes eligibility rules, practices and policies affecting benefit distribution, common areas of concern, and program effectiveness. April 1995 by Tom Gilles, M.A.


Barriers to Same Race Placement
(Executive Summary)
This report identifies model programs and barriers to same race placement and sheds light on practices, policies, and procedures that directly affect minority adoption. April 1991 by Tom Gilles, M.A. & Joe Kroll


The Child Advocate's Legal Guide: Effective Collaborative Work to Speed Permanence for Children in Foster Care
Designed to address social service and legal issues that create foster care drift, this guidebook provides legal analysis and proposes practical solutions on issues such as kinship care, open adoption, and termination of parental rights. April 1995 by Debra Ratterman Baker, J.D. & Charlotte Vick, J.D.


Child Welfare Financing 101
This document explains the ins and outs of child welfare financing in the United States, and explores barriers that make it more difficult for states to achieve the goals of safety, well-being, and permanency for children and youth. March 2007

Click here to download a PDF. To order a printed copy, send an e-mail request to with your name and mailing address.


Developing a Parent-to-Parent Support Network
This manual is intended to help parents and family advocates learn how to set up parent-to-parent networks to provide post-adoption support in their own communities. The document provides information on six model peer support programs and explores in detail NACAC's MN ASAP parent support network. April 2009 by Janet Jerve

Click here to download a PDF. (A hard copy is not available.)


A Family for Every Child: Strategies to Achieve Permanence for Older Foster Children and Youth
This publication describes characteristics of older wating children and identifies barriers that are keeping children and youth in care. Then it provides detailed steps that child welfare administrators and workers can take to replicate successful youth permanency efforts. August 2005 by Mary Ford and Mary Boo

Click here to download a PDF. To order a printed copy, send an e-mail request to with your name and mailing address.


Forever Families—Support for Families of Children with Special Needs: A Policy Analysis of Adoption Subsidy Programs in the United States
This report compares states adoption assistance policies in 14 different areas (such as definitions of special needs and basic monthly subsidy rates) and identifies those policies best designed to help children with special needs obtain the services and support they need. July 2002 by Jeanette Wiedemeier Bower, M.P.A. & Rita Laws, Ph.D.

Click here to download a PDF. (A printed copy is no longer available.)


A Handbook for Training Concurrent Permanency Planning Resource Parents in Minnesota
This publication contains exercises that help program managers and social workers prepare concurrent permanency planning resource parents to facilitate two contrasting permanency planning outcomes. A PDF of the Handbook can be downloaded at no charge. 2002 by Mary Ford, M.S.W.

It's Time to Make Older Child Adoption a Reality: Because Every Child and Youth Deserves a Family
This publication identifies key policy and practice barriers to the adoption of older children and youth. It also makes recommendations for changes that will ensure that more older children and youth achieve permanence. The publication also highlights existing policies and programs that are helping more older children find permanence through adoption. A PDF of the publication can be downloaded at no charge November 2009 by Alicia Groh for NACAC

National Adoption Awareness Month Guide
Full of activities for Adoption Month, ideas for reaching the media with positive adoption images, suggestions to raise awareness, and strategies to recruit adoptive familiies, this guide provides many ways to celebrate adoption during November and beyond. Click here to view different sections of the Guide. July 2001 by NACAC Staff


Post-Adoption Services: Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Children Adopted from Foster Care
This brief publication explains the mental health needs of many children and youth adopted from care, explores successful post-adoption services programs, and recommends policy changes that will facilitate the expansion and replication of necessary services. July 2007

A PDF of the publication can be downloaded at no charge. To order a printed copy, send an e-mail request to with your name and mailing address.


Providing Federal Adoption Assistance to More Children with Special Needs: A Welcome Change
This brief highlights the provision of the Fostering Connections to Succcess and Increasing Adoptions Act that expands federal Title IV-E adoption assistance eligiblity by eliminating income and family structure limitations. In addition, the brief explains the law's maintenance of effort requirement, which will result in states investing any funds saved in child welfare services. July 2009

A PDF of the brief can be downloaded at no charge.


Starting and Nurturing Adoptive Parent Groups: A Guide for Leaders
This guide for new and experienced parent group leaders covers topics such as becoming a leader, developing group identity, managing meetings, filing for tax-exempt status, and rejuvenating a struggling group. Along with sample forms and letters, the publication offers helpful tips and stories of how other groups creatively solved problems. Download a PDF.

October 2002 by Janet Jerve





Shortening Children's Stays In Temporary Care: Policies and Practices
Child welfare professionals are searching for strategies to address the barriers that keep children in foster care. In response, this framework explores the interplay between family characteristics and system barriers, and suggests reforms in public policy, program management, and program operations. July 1997 by Kate Welty, M.A.

Click here to download a PDF.

Shortening Children's Stays in Temporary Care: Innovative Programs
Created as a companion to Policies and Practices, this publication highlights 26 programs that are achieving permanency for children in foster care. Innovative Programs profiles innovations in concurrent planning, substance abusement treatment, family conferences, kinship care, foster and adoptive parent recruitment, subsidized guarandianship, and legal process. April 1997 by NACAC staff

Click here to download a PDF. (Printed copies are no longer available.)


Successes for Children and Families: It’s Time to Build on What Works in Child Welfare
This report highlights nine key programs that are successfully using financing innovations to improve outcomes for children and youth. The programs include efforts that help children remain or return to their birth families, or exit foster care through adoption or guardianship. November 2007

A PDF of the publication can be downloaded at no charge. To order a printed copy, send an e-mail request to with your name and mailing address.


There is a Better Way: Family-Based Alternatives to Institutional Care
(Executive Summary)
Children grow best in families — not orphanages. This booklet analyzes recent efforts to reconstruct institutions, reviewing the psychological effect on children, cost, and other options for caring for children. June 1995 by Mary Ford, M.S.W. & Joe Kroll


Three Concurrent Planning Programs: How They Benefit Children and Support Permanency Planning Families
(Executive Summary)
By highlighting concurrent planning programs in Washington State, Colorado, and California, this research brief describes the benefits of concurrent planning, including how it addresses the attachment needs of young children and remains sensitive to the needs of African American families. The publication defines the role of permanency planning families and explores how agencies and social workers can support these special foster families. July 1998 by Mary Ford, M.S.W.


Transracial Parenting Project: Parenting Resource Manual
Designed for parents who are currently parenting a child of another race, culture, or ethnicity, the Manual features dozens of articles that address the day-to-day realities faced by multiracial families. The articles address issues such ascultivating positive self-esteem, dealing with race in a race-conscious society, caring for hair and grooming, finding community resources, and more. The Manual also features a national directory of resources for parents and agencies, information on culture camps, and creative writing from individuals raised in a family of a different race or culture. July 1998; compiled by Susan Cunningham, B.A. & Jeanette Wiedemeier Bower, M.P.A.


Transracial Parenting Project: Self Awareness Tool
This confidential instrument will help prospective foster and adoptive parents determine for themselves if transracial or transcultural foster care or adoption is the right decision for their family. The Tool enables parents to think about the responsibility of raising children of other races, cultures, or ethnic backgrounds, and helps them answer questions about their motivations, extended family responses, and much more. This publication is an excellent resource for parent groups or adoption agencies to provide to all of their prospective adoptive parents. February 1998 by Jeanette Wiedemeier Bower, M.P.A.

(Sample exercise: What Are You Willing to Do?)


Transracial Parenting Project: Training Curriculum
The Curriculum is designed to help agencies and parent groups train individuals who seek transracial or transcultural foster or adoptive placements. This resource will enable trainers to talk effectively about issues related to race and culture through seven different training modules: Personal Motivations (to foster or adopt), Personal Values, Family, Home, Community, Cultural Exposure, and Racism. Prospective foster and adoptive parents trained with the Curriculum will be well-equipped to decide if a transracial placement is right for them. May 1998 by Jeanette Wiedemeier Bower, M.P.A.

(Sample exercises: Recognizing Prejudices and Identifying Diverse Community Resources.)


The Value of Adoption Subsidies: Helping Children Find Permanent Families
This report makes the case for improving the federal adoption assistance program. The text dwells on the human benefits of subsidies as well as financial considerations, and outlines three specific recommendations for making the program more effective and useful. May 2008

A PDF of the publication can be downloaded at no charge. To order a printed copy, send an e-mail request to with your name and mailing address.


The Vital Roles of Adoption Subsidies: Increasing Permanency and Improving Children's Lives (While Saving States Money)
This issue brief presents research on how adoption assistance benefits increase adoptions from foster care, while saving states money over the cost of keeping children in care. It is designed as a tool for advocates to use in efforts to maintain or improve adoption assistance benefits in their communities. September 2012 in collaboration with the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute

A PDF of the publication can be downloaded at no charge.


Voices from the Heart: Personal Stories from Adoptive Families
This NACAC publication contains true-life adoption success stories from people like you — adoptive parents, adoptees, and others involved in the child welfare system. Voices booklets can be purchased individually or as a four-volume set. Edited by Diane Riggs, M.A.

To purchase a hard copy of any of the above publications, you may download an order form and mail or fax it to NACAC. Please note that it will take about two to three weeks for you to receive your order. For the publications that are not available in PDF, you can purchase through PayPal using the menu and button below.


If you would like to purchase a publication (or multiple copies of publications) but don't want to use PayPal, please call us at 651-644-3036 with your credit card information.

For more information, send an e-mail to

North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC)
970 Raymond Avenue, Suite 106
St. Paul, MN 55114
phone: 651-644-3036
fax: 651-644-9848