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Read This Before Going to Local Officials

Local Officials

Prospective adoptive parents looking for an adoption resource capable of meeting their informational needs may wish to consult websites and other online outlets.

Especially in the case of adopting from a State's child welfare system, a State's Department of Health and Human Services or Department of Social Services will be a necessary adoption resource to consult, as it will be the bureau with the authority to process adoption claims within that particular jurisdiction. A State or regional adoption resource center will likely be partnered with such a department, and so it will have contact information for that wing of the State Government.

It should be noted that regardless of the relationship between an adoption resource center and an adoption resource comprised of local officials, the name of the official entity designed to govern adoptions from public care is subject to a State's design. For example, in the State of New Jersey, adoptions are routed through the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) as a subset of the Department of Children and Families, and DYFS has offices all throughout the State.

One thing a State Department might want to help families decide is what relationship they exactly want to have with a child. Of course, for our purposes, adoption would probably be the preferable option, but for some caretakers, they may wish to simply foster a child. Then again, State social services might serve as an adoption resource center and liaison to a private agency.

As local officials are servants of the public's interests and they may even place children for free, it may be worthwhile to go to them and obtain information first if you are on the fence about adoption. If nothing else, agents of the State may be able to convince you that you do not have to be perfect to adopt a child in need.

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