In 2003 there were 1204 adoptions of children in custody of Washington State's Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), with
more children still awaiting adoptive homes. The purpose of the adoption program is to meet the permanency needs of children who are
in the care and custody of DSHS. A Place Called Hope strives to find safe and stable families that can best meet the needs of the child.
Open communication agreements allow contact between the adoptive parents and birth parents. In some instances there is also contact allowed
between birth parents and the adopted child. The frequency of contact is negotiated and communication may include letters, e-mails, telephone
calls, or visits. It is important to note that even in an open adoption, the legal relationship between a birth parent and child is severed. The adoptive
parents are the legal parents of an adopted child.
The goals of open adoption are:
|Special Needs Children
To be considered a child with "special needs" each of the following statements must be true:
1. One or more of the following factors or conditions must exist:
2. The state has determined that the child cannot or should not be returned to parent's home; and
3. A reasonable but unsuccessful effort was made to place the child for adoption without adoption support. (Other unique conditions may exist in
which a child would qualify. Almost every child in the state's Foster Care program qualifies for Adoption Support).
|Adoption Support Program
The Adoption Support Program assists families adopting special needs children by providing ongoing financial and medical benefits to qualified children
based on state and federal regulations.
To qualify for Adoption Support, DSHS must have made the determination that adoption is in the child's best interest.
The child must: