Adoptpakids.org is owned by DHS and contains a photo album of waiting children so the public and prospective families can read about and see photos of children who need a permanency resource. The website helps eliminate geographic boundaries by recruiting families who live outside Pennsylvania.
The photo album is a powerful recruitment tool. It features photographs and personal stories about children who are registered with PAE and are actively seeking permanency. The stories that work best are those that are created with or fully written by the child. First-person narratives are much more powerful than those written in third person. Similarly, high-quality photographs that truly capture the personality of a child receives more attention than low-quality ones. Photographs that do not reveal a child’s face or identity are also strongly preferred to no photographs at all. These types of pictures can show something the child likes; for example, a photo of them playing basketball or holding a basketball in front of their face tells you something about them even without sharing their appearance. PAE coordinators have a great deal of information about and experience in writing powerful narratives, taking quality pictures and obtaining free professional photographs.
Adoptpakids.org also contains information about how to become a foster or adoptive parent, including links to additional photo listing websites where families can search for available children. Families can access a variety of supports such as support group organizations, national adoption organizations, medical and health related links, search and reunion services, and organizations that serve families and children with challenges. Families and agencies can also locate information about matching events occurring across the state.
AdoptUSKids is a service of the U.S. Children’s Bureau and is managed by the Adoption Exchange Association.
AdoptUSKids’ mission is two-fold: to raise public awareness about the need for foster and adoptive families for children in the public child welfare system and to assist states, territories, and tribes in recruiting and retaining foster and adoptive families and connect them with children.
Children who are registered, have their parental rights terminated, are available online with PAE and have a photograph are displayed on www.adoptuskids.org.
Agency workers may register as a professional user of the website. In doing so, they may conduct searches on behalf of their children for waiting families throughout the country. Workers can narrow searches by a child’s needs, family composition, state of residence, etc. Once search results are generated, workers can view family narratives, their preferences for a child, their status, their agency affiliation, and contact information. This search tool is a great resource for workers throughout the matching process.