About our process

When a family with a completed home study inquires on a specific youth's profile, we are able to connect the family with the child's caseworker.

A family or teenager smiling.

How we work

Northwest Adoption Exchange connects adoptive families with kids in foster care in the Northwest who need permanent homes. We believe that by championing youth and their potential, we can inspire families to reach out and make the necessary connection to find each of these kids a permanent home.

If a family has completed a home study or foster license through an agency in their state, they're eligible to learn more about featured youth.

Our model

We work directly with caseworkers, state partners, and when appropriate youth themselves, to feature the stories of youth who need adoptive families.
When your family submits interest on a featured youth’s story, we verify your information, and connect your family or your caseworker with the youth’s caseworker.
After the connection is made and the home study is submitted, you and your caseworker can begin to have conversations with the youth’s worker about adoption.

If you don't have a home study

It is unlikely that you will be eligible to connect with a youth's caseworker until your home study is complete. To learn about exceptions to this rule and find out more, check out our frequently asked questions below.

If you’re ready to get started on your home study, it’s time to connect with a local private or public agency in your area. For a list of resources and information on the process, visit find an agency.

Frequently asked questions

For the overwhelming majority of featured youth, we’re only able to pass along inquiries from families with a home study. Unless the youth’s caseworker has indicated otherwise, we won’t be able to connect you with the worker just yet. However in the case of teens or youth with In-Depth Profiles, if you think you might be an especially great fit, we encourage you to reach out to us via chat, phone, or email — just be aware that you may have to wait until your home study is complete to be connected.

Yes! Most caseworkers are interested in hearing from families who will best fit the needs of a youth, regardless of geographical location. While there are times when a local placement is preferred in order to maintain existing connections, please place an inquiry if you think you could provide permanency for that particular youth.

After you submit an inquiry, we review the information you provided. If your home study is current, we will respond to your inquiry with an email that provides the contact information for the youth’s caseworker. From there, you can reach out to the worker by phone or email to share your home study and ask more specific questions.

There is an exception for youth in Oregon. If you place an inquiry on an Oregon youth, please let your caseworker know they will need to follow up with the child's caseworker on your behalf. After we process your inquiry we will send an email with the child's worker contact information to your worker with instructions on the Oregon policy. This Oregon “worker to worker” policy, means your caseworker is the only one who can connect with the youth’s caseworker.

Yes! All of the youth who are currently featured on the site need families to come forward. We regularly collaborate with caseworkers to ensure we have up-to-date information for all featured youth on our site.

If you have an existing relationship with a featured youth and are interested in adoption, we definitely want to hear from you. This is true even if you have not completed an adoption home study — we won’t be able to connect you directly, but we are able to pass your contact information and details to the youth’s caseworker.

If a youth you have inquired on in the past is featured again and you are still interested, reach out to us. We will make sure you have the most up-to-date caseworker contact information to ensure you’re connecting with the right person.

Please reach out to us. Caseworkers have demanding jobs that can result in occasional delays in their response times. We generally advise families reach out to us if they have not heard from the caseworker in a couple of weeks.

Note: Oregon is a worker-to-worker contact state which means contact is limited to professionals only. If your worker hasn’t heard back on an Oregon inquiry, we advise them to follow up using the contact information we provided during the inquiry process.

In most cases your home study needs to have been completed or updated within the last two to three years. If you have a question about whether or not your home study allows you to connect with a youth’s caseworker, please reach out and we’ll check on your eligibility.

It is understandable to want more information on a featured youth before deciding to move forward with the completion of a home study. However, to protect the safety, privacy, and dignity of featured youth, we have strict rules and policies in place regarding the release of information. Once you have a home study, the youth’s caseworker will be able to answer your specific questions.

As you go through the process, try to keep an open mind in case the youth you are interested in is no longer looking for a permanent home by the time your home study is complete. For instance, an adoptive family may be identified for the child before you have completed your home study. Additionally, there are a variety of reasons your family might not be the best fit for the youth you’re interested in. We appreciate when families are excited about particular youth and hope everyone can share the good news when they are placed with their adoptive family.

You should reach out to your agency to ask what it would take to get an update to your home study, but in the meantime feel free to place an inquiry. While you will probably need an update if you’re eventually selected for placement, in most cases having a completed home study means that we can still connect you with the youth’s caseworker.

While we have strict guidelines around what information we can publicly share with families, if you have a question about anything in a profile, please be sure to reach out. While we might not be able to provide all the information you’re looking for, we will certainly try to answer your question.

It’s true that some agencies may have different policies and procedure on out-of-state adoption. We recommend that all families interested in inquiring on kids out-of-state have a thoughtful and honest conversation with their agency before inquiring on featured youth. It’s important that your agency is supportive of your wishes as they play a vital role in advocating for your family throughout the matching and placement process.