About this resource

Every Child Should Have a Family!

Founded by adoptive parents in 1974, the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) works to ensure all children in foster care have permanent, loving families and adoptive families have the support they need.

Our vision: Every child has a permanent, loving, and supported family. 

Our mission: NACAC supports, educates, inspires, and advocates so adoptive, kinship, foster, guardian, and customary caregiving families thrive, and every child and youth has a permanent, safe, loving supported, culturally competent family.

To achieve these goals, NACAC:

  • Promotes adoption from foster care
  • Supports, informs, and empowers adoptive, foster, and kinship parents and young people who experienced foster care and adoption
  • Educates child welfare professionals
  • Advocates that children have families and families have support

Read our 2019 Annual Report

Foster Care and Adoption

Foster care is intended to be a temporary solution for children who cannot remain safely at home. Sadly, tens of thousands of children in foster care cannot return to their birth families. Adoption is the typically the preferred plan for children in foster care who cannot safely return home. Research shows that adoption—when compared to remaining in foster care—offers children the greatest potential for resiliency and future success.

Children need a consistent, nurturing family for optimal development and emotional security throughout their lives. Adoptions not only benefit children, but they result in reduced financial and social costs to child welfare systems, governments, and communities.

But adoption doesn’t solve everything. Given the traumatic life experiences that most children in care have endured, many will continue to have ongoing challenges, some of which may intensify as they age.

Research shows the majority of children in foster care have experienced ongoing or complex trauma, which has significant, often lifelong, negative effects on brain development, relationship-building skills, and physical and mental health. This is also true for many children adopted from institutions in other countries.

Without support, many of these children are at risk of re-entering foster care or placement in residential care. Post-adoption supports help children begin to heal and ensure their parents can successfully raise them to adulthood.

We at NACAC are dedicated to ensuring that children in foster care have a permanent, loving family, and that adoptive families have the support they need to help their children heal and thrive—now and for a lifetime.