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Adoption agencies, adoptive parent support groups and others use a variety of means to encourage the adoption of children, particularly children with SPECIAL NEEDS, ADVERTISING AND PROMOTION, NATIONAL PREGNANCY WEEK, seminars, WEDNESDAY'S CHILD, PHOTOLISTINGS and VIDEOTAPES are primary techniques.

Adoption advocates may also use bumper stickers, T-shirts and many other creative tactics to promote adoption.

Various BLACK ADOPTIVE PARENT RECRUITMENT PROGRAMS have been established to help cope with the large numbers of black children waiting for adoptive parents.


When parents are adopting an older child, agencies arrange for the parents to meet the child before committing to an adoption.

The meeting may be at a social event, such as an adoption picnic, or it may be in the agency office or at another location. Some agencies try to make the meeting appear accidental or casual, so the child will not feel threatened or feel like he or she is being examined.

Adoption "fairs," parties or picnics are used by some agencies to introduce children to prospective parents. Children are dressed casually and given balloons, and games and activities are planned for the children. The disadvantage of these events is that many of the children know they are on display and may feel anxious. The advantage of such evets is that parents do have a chance to meet kids one-on-one, and children have been adopted through this process.

If and when adopting parents are interested in an older child, the agency will often arrange for them to spend a day or weekend with the child in their home. The adoptive parents' interest in the child must be very strong before the agency will commit to such a meeting because they want to minimize the pain of rejection should the weekend not work out.

When an agency is attempting to match a particular child with a particular family, they talk to the family first to make sure the family has an interest in the child.

Usually prior to the showing of the child, if it's a personal meeting, the social worker will "talk up" the family to the child and provide general and specific information about the family to whet the child's curiosity and interest in them.

If the weekend visits seem to work out well, more visits will be planned until the child is transitioned to the new home and family.

Find more information on recruitment

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