Pre & Post Adoption Support Services

Pre- and Post-Adoption Support Services offer individual and family therapy and clinical case management designed to meet the needs of children and youth who will be adopted, or have been adopted from the foster care system.

For a child in foster care with no prospect of reunification, adoption into a caring family is a lifeline. Parents who grow their families through adoption find that the experience is a gift to them as much as it is to their new child.

The joys of adoption, however, come with challenges. For the child and parents, there are very real emotional challenges involved in coming together as a new family.  Our therapists receive specialized training to understand and help with all of the issues that Adoptive families experience before and after adoption.

At the Pre-Adoption stages, we help children, youth and parents understand these challenges and work through them together to build a strong, stable foundation. Often this involves helping the child develop a cohesive and appreciative understanding of his or her own past, and of the events and situations that led to a plan of adoption.

Work at this stage also involves helping the adoptive parents develop realistic, positive expectations for their family’s adoption journey. This can involve:

Accepting and appreciating their own journey to the decision to adopt

Honoring the child’s experience and birth family – keeping connections alive as much as is safely possible

Helping the child avoid loyalty struggles as they attach to their new caregivers

This program offers Post-Adoption services until the child/youth reaches the age of 18. Often the process of coming to understand the adoption story must be renewed with each milestone. As children grow through each stage of development, emotional and behavioral issues can arise. Each time this happens, it is a challenge for the individual and for the family, but it is also an opportunity to work through these natural challenges in a way that strengthens their bonds and re-affirms their family’s love and commitment.

We offer expert parent training, family-driven, strengths-based therapy and innovative program design - including Occupational Therapy, a Digital Storytelling Lab, and Family Partners with personal experience adopting.

These services are offered at our Oakland/Fruitvale and Berkeley offices.