Adoption Information

Terms of Adoption

•       AbuseAny action that creates a substantial injury or a risk of injury to a child. Abuse can be
physical, sexual or emotional. Physical abuse happens when a child is hurt through beating, shaking,
kicking, burning or other types of bodily harm. A child can end up suffering from bruises, fractured or
broken bones, internal injuries or even death. When children are denied the basic necessities they
need to thrive, it is also considered physical abuse. Infants born addicted to drugs are physically abused,
as well.

•       Approved FamiliesFamilies that have completed MAPP training, the homestudy process and
have been licensed to adopt.

•       Birth or Biological FamilyBiological mother or father (those who conceived the child) and their
extended family; “blood” relatives.

•       Children of ColorChildren of color are all non-Caucasian children, including biracial children.

•       Child Welfare SystemAll agencies that operate to ensure the safety and well being of children.
Areas of child welfare include adoption, child protection, and foster care.

•       Closed AdoptionAn adoption that involves total confidentiality and no contact with birth family.
The birth family and the adoptive family do not share any identifying information about themselves, and
do not communicate with each other, either before or after the placement of the child.

•       Contracted AgenciesThose agencies that have a contract with the DSS (public adoption agency)
to provide adoption services to DSS clients.

•       Developmental DelaysDelays in motor skills, speech and/or learning.

•       Department of Social Services The Oregon State Child Welfare Agency. The agency focuses
on the safety, permanency and well being of children who have been abused and neglected in family
settings or by caretakers.

•       Domestic Infant AdoptionThe adoption of infants born in the United States and generally refers
to children who are voluntarily relinquished by their birthparent/s.

•       Emotional DisabilitiesA disturbance of mood not due to any physical or mental disorder.
Children with emotional disabilities may exhibit lack of respect for authority, behavior problems in school,
inability to cope with change and difficulty getting along with other children. They might also have trouble
sleeping, have mood swings, be impulsive and appear to be unaware or unconcerned about the
consequences of their actions. Children with emotional disabilities may need therapy or counseling.

•       Emotional InjuryAlso referred to as emotional abuse, hurts a child's emotional development. It
occurs when attitudes or actions repeatedly happen in a family that negatively effect the way a child feels
about him/herself. This can impair a youngster's behavior and ability to function. Emotional abuse
happens in all kinds of ways. A lack of love and support can be devastating. This can take the form of
emotional detachment or a severe lack of affection. Extremely harsh, critical treatment of a child can
cause emotional injury, too. This can include severe punishment, rejection and verbal assaults that may
include belittling, or scape goating.

•       Foster CareFoster Care is the substitute family and care that children receive when they have
been removed from a situation where either abuse and/or neglect has occurred and neither biological
parents nor other extended family members can meet a child's needs. The State agency has placement
and care responsibility during this time.

•       Foster Care AdoptionFoster care adoption, also referred to as special needs adoption, is the
adoption of children from state care. These children are typically harder to place based on their race,
ethnicity, age, disability, or part of a sibling group.

•       Home studyThe home study is a process as well as a final written document. After the family’s
completion of Foster/adopt training, the family’s social worker conducts visits to the home in order to
become acquainted with the household and the community to ensure they can provide a safe
environment for a child. It also allows the social worker to gain a better understanding of how the family
functions within the home. The write-up at the end of the process is the family’s home study, which is
either approved or denied by the agency.

•       International AdoptionThe adoption of a child who is a citizen of a different country than the
adoptive parents.

•       Learning DisabilitiesChildren with learning disabilities may have average intelligence, but they
have difficulty sorting and storing information. They may have visual or auditory perception problems
that make it difficult for them to learn by reading directions or by listening. They learn best by seeing and
doing. More than 40 percent of special needs children have learning disabilities. Special classes can
help the child with school and learning.

•       Loss IssuesWhen children lose loved ones through separation, divorce or death, some feel
immediate grief but others may deny their loss. Long-term denial or avoidance of grief can 26 result in
severe problems. Signs that indicate professional help might be needed include extended depression,
loss of interest in daily activities, inability to sleep, loss of appetite, a drop in school performance,
hyperactivity, aggression and inability to concentrate.

•       Legally FreeLegally free children are those whose birthparents have voluntarily surrendered their
parental rights, or have had them terminated through a court process. These birthparents have no legal
recourse or claim to the involved children.

•       Legal RiskChildren at legal risk are those for whom the process to terminate birthparents’ rights
has not yet concluded. DSS has determined that adoption is in the child’s best interest and does not
want to delay recruitment of a family while the court pursues termination of the birthparents’ rights. The
court case can last as long as two years or more until the final decision is made. In some cases, the
birthparents retain the right to visit their child during the time the case is technically in foster care status.
The majority of legal risk placements result in the foster child being adopted by the pre-adoptive family.

•       A Family For Every Child (AFFEC): A private, non-profit organization that works in collaboration
with the child welfare system, specifically adoption agencies, to find adoptive families for children in
foster care.

•       Foster/Adoption (different name in each state, MAPP, PRIDE, Foundations, ect…)A
training course required of all prospective adoptive families and foster families in Oregon. The trainings
usually are in groups of 8-20 individuals, for 3 hours one day a week for 8 weeks. Its purpose is to help
families prepare for adoption or foster care through understanding the losses that waiting children have
suffered and the birth family issues that can exist.

•       NeglectSituation that occurs when a child's basic needs are not provided for. Every youngster
needs food, shelter, medical care, supervision, emotional stability and a chance to grow. When a
caregiver withholds these things, a child is neglected. This may happen deliberately, through negligence
or due to an inability to parent. The environmental circumstances that some parents may face, such as
disability, homelessness or inadequate financial resources, are not seen as sources of neglect.

•       Open AdoptionAn adoption that involves ongoing contact between birth and adoptive families,
sometimes including visits. Each adoption varies in terms of who remains involved and visitations. Open
adoption  does not mean shared parenting.

•       Physical AbuseCharacterized by the infliction of physical injury as a result of punching, beating,
kicking, biting, burning, shaking or otherwise harming a child. The parent or caretaker may not have
intended to hurt the child; rather, the injury may have resulted from over-discipline or physical punishment.

•       Prospective Adoptive FamilyA family that is interested in adoption and is either in the midst of
the adoption                 process and/or waiting for a match with a child.

•       Public Adoption Agencywelfare agency is the adoption unit, which is   dedicated tThe public
adoption agency is usually the state child welfare agency. For Oregon, this is the Department of Social
Services. Within the state child 27 o the adoption of all the children who have a goal of adoption.
Services are free of charge through public adoption agencies.

•       Sexual AbuseOccurs when a child has any sexual contact with an adult. This can happen through
intercourse, which is considered rape under Oregon law. It includes any oral, genital or anal penetration.
Sexual exploitation and molestation are also considered abuse. They are defined as contacts or
interactions with a child that are used to satisfy an adult's sexual needs and desires. This includes any
verbally enticing language as well as fondling, masturbating or exposure of sexual organs by the adult.
Sex between an adult and child is never consensual.

•       School-Aged ChildrenChildren age 6 and older, and are generally at an age when they are
enrolled in school.

•       Sibling GroupsChildren with one or more biological brother or sister.

•       Special Needs AdoptionSpecial needs adoption, also referred to as adoption through foster
care, is the adoption of children who are in state care. These children are typically harder to place based
on their race, ethnicity, age, disability, or being part of a sibling group.

•       Waiting Child(ren): A child who is waiting to be adopted.

•       Waiting FamilyA family who has completed Foster/adoption training and the home study process,
has been approved to adopt and is waiting for an appropriate match to be found.



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