WHAT MOTIVATES YOUR INTEREST IN WORKING IN FOSTER CARE AND ADOPTION?
The MN ADOPT organization was founded in 1980 by a group of adoptive and foster parents. The founding mission was focused on advocating for the rights of every child to ensure they find a permanent and nurturing home – this mission still holds true today! Over the years, MN ADOPT has expanded its programming to support the adoption and foster care community regardless of where people are on their journey. Our team is composed of professionals who have dedicated their careers to this work and are deeply committed to supporting those touched by adoption.
HOW DO POST-ADOPTION SERVICES FIT INTO YOUR WORK TO IMPROVE THE ADOPTION AND FOSTER CARE SYSTEM?
Post-adoption services are a major component to our organization’s programming and is an area that we are passionate about and excel at providing. The supports available through the HELP and Training programs are major contributors to our state’s ability to provide responsive, robust and easily accessible post-adoption support. These programs work closely together to provide well-rounded, innovative, adoption-informed services that are applicable to families and individuals across their lifespan.
We are longtime advocates in identifying barriers to adoption and family stability. Through our collaborations with many organizations, both locally and nationally, MN ADOPT attempts to shed light on the unique needs experienced within this community and advocate for needed systemic change. MN ADOPT was honored to be a 2015 recipient of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s Angels in Adoption award. While in Washington, D.C. to receive the award, MN ADOPT was invited to meet with leaders at the U.S. Department of State to share information on our programming and discuss post-adoption needs.
DOES YOUR STAFF HAVE A PERSONAL CONNECTION TO ADOPTION OR FOSTER CARE? IF SO, HOW HAS YOUR STAFF’S PERSONAL EXPERIENCES INSPIRED OR INFLUENCED THEIR WORK?
Many of our team are personally connected to adoption and foster care and have chosen to focus their career on this imperative work. In addition, the MN ADOPT staff brings extensive working histories across various adoption and foster care organizations and programs to their current roles. Having a team that has myriad experiences, both personally and professionally, aids in our immense repertoire and ability to approach programming in a well-rounded, adoption/early trauma/attachment/identity informed way.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHY ARE POST-ADOPTION SERVICES IMPORTANT TO BUILDING STRONG FAMILIES?
Post-adoption services are not only important to building strong families; they are absolutely essential. It has been an incredible disservice to families and individuals that adoption was, and arguably still is, seen in society as an event (transactional) versus a lifelong experience. The complexities of adoption and foster care are multifaceted for all those touched by the experience – not just for the adoptive parents. Locating resources with the expertise and experience in assisting adoption-related nuances is crucial to establishing and supporting stable home environments.
Individuals and families across the country deserve easily accessible, adoption-competent, expert support and guidance to resources tailored to the person/family’s unique situation regardless of their role in adoption (i.e. adoptive parent, adopted person, first/birth parent). MN ADOPT approaches this need by having programming that is able to provide unbiased, knowledgeable support (both pre- and post-adoption) to adoption/early trauma/attachment/identity informed resources.