Four kids at park

When you are considering a particular child for adoption placement, there’s a lot you should learn to help you make an informed decision. Below are the types of information you should ask about, but keep in mind that much of the information won’t be shared until you are very seriously considering a particular child for placement. The child welfare agency role is first to protect the safety and privacy of the child, but before taking a particular placement prospective parents also have a right to detailed information and full disclosure.

About the Child

  • Nicknames
  • Personality and characteristics
  • Strengths
  • Self-identity
  • Race, ethnicity, and national origin
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation and gender identity
  • Skills and abilities
  • Interests, recreation, and hobbies
  • Preferences, likes and dislikes


  • Family members (parents, siblings, relatives, other important adults)
  • Family physical, genetic, and mental health history
  • Most recent contact with family members
  • Child’s understanding of what happened
  • Important connections to maintain; openness in adoption
  • History of disrupted placement or dissolved adoption

Child Protective Services History

  • Age entered care
  • Reason in care
  • History of neglect, abuse, and trauma
  • Placements and reasons
  • Siblings foster care and adoption history
  • Understanding of foster care and adoption

Caregivers and Current Placement

  • History of non-family caregivers
  • Relationship to caregivers and other children
  • Caregivers you can contact to learn more
  • Typical day, routines, and chores
  • Food and eating habits
  • Sleeping routines, patterns, and problems
  • Interactions with men and women
  • Expression of affection and touch
  • Effective and ineffective discipline
  • Positive behaviors
  • Challenging behaviors
  • Continued contact desired and availability to provide respite care


  • School records
  • Academic achievement
  • Relationships to teachers
  • Areas of concern
  • Learning disabilities
  • Current educational supports – such as an Individualized Education Program (IEP)
  • Learning needs


  • Prenatal care, exposures (domestic violence, alcohol, drugs, etc.), and complications
  • Health history including dental, hearing, vision
  • Doctor, clinic, and hospital contact information
  • Traumatic medical events
  • Allergies
  • Immunizations
  • Medications and purposes
  • Physical fitness
  • Disabilities


  • History of development (when did he or she sit up, crawl, walk, etc.)
  • Developmental age and delays
  • Self-care and hygiene
  • Communication skills
  • Gross and fine motor skills
  • Ability to concentrate, remember, and solve problems
  • Social skills and interactions with adults, peers, and others


  • Attachment to caregivers
  • Relationship to siblings
  • Stressful and traumatic events
  • Therapy history and providers
  • Psychological and neurological diagnoses
  • Ability to express emotions
  • Ability to manages stress
  • Fears and triggers
  • Level of self-control


  • History of difficult behaviors (aggression, self-harm, sexualized behaviors, etc.)
  • Behavior triggers (items, smells, experiences, events, etc.)
  • Interactions with younger children and pets
  • History of false allegations
  • Interventions (effective and ineffective)
  • Ongoing concerns

Our Mission

The North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) supports, educates, inspires, and advocates so adoptive families thrive and every child in foster care has a permanent, safe, loving family.


What We Do
Core Beliefs and Values
Board of Directors
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Sponsorship Opportunities


North American Council
on Adoptable Children
970 Raymond Avenue
Suite 205
St. Paul, MN 55114


Staff Contact Info

The North American Council on Adoptable Children