About Northwest Adoption Exchange

Since 1976, Northwest Adoption Exchange has connected youth in foster care with their potential adoptive families. We bring a fierce optimism and a strength-based approach to adoption recruitment while providing the opportunity to empower, engage, and involve these kids in helping find their adoptive families. We maintain high standards and believe in the importance of respecting the safety, privacy, and dignity of youth in foster care.

In addition to operating the public Northwest Adoption Exchange, we also provide state specific adoption recruitment services for public child welfare agencies.

To learn more about those services, families with a completed adoption home study and social workers in Washington and Oregon can visit our Washington and Oregon specific sites, the Washington Adoption Resource Exchange and the Oregon Adoption Resource Exchange.

Northwest Adoption Exchange is a program of Northwest Resource Associates.


Equity and Inclusion


At Northwest Resource Associates, we acknowledge the historical discrimination and marginalization that has created unfair advantages for some and disadvantages for others. These inequities persist in every sector of society, including the human services community. Pursuing equity and inclusion is a top priority across all programs at Northwest Resource Associates.

In 2013, we became an LGBTQ+ culturally competent organization through the Human Rights Campaign’s All Children - All Families (ACAF) program. The program requires ongoing staff training that solidifies our ability to serve LGBTQ+ children and families.

In 2019, we formed our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee to recommend additional pathways and expand our efforts to become a more equitable and inclusive agency, with a particular emphasis on anti-racism.

In 2021, we are committed to:

  • Funding ongoing learning for all staff. Effective conversations about creating change require a shared vocabulary and understanding of discrimination and marginalization, both at individual and structural levels. We are invested in quarterly trainings that move staff toward a common language to address issues of racism, bias, and other discrimination. In addition, we will continue creating intentional spaces for staff to communicate and have brave conversations so that the learning can be incorporated.
  • Reviewing employment practices. We are committed to reviewing and revising our current employment practices and to eliminate potential bias and promote behavior that fosters inclusion. We are focused on revising hiring practices, performance evaluations, exit interviews, and other employee policies.

We will continually update our objectives to promote learning, growth, and change at Northwest Resource Associates.



NWAE Staff

Tyler Helbach (he/him), M.P.A., Director

Brandon Adams (he/him), In-Depth Profiles Project Manager

Nick Baumgartner (he/him), Youth Engagement Specialist

Thea Carter (she/her), Information and Support Specialist

Naomi Kolb-Untinen (they/them), Youth Engagement Specialist

Jessica Tholmer (she/her), Northwest Adoption Exchange Program Manager

Lori Woodbury (she/her), WARE Program Assistant