Special Projects

Voice for Adoption (VFA) projects focus on raising awareness around adoption and permanency for children in foster care within the United States. We are always looking for new opportunities to collaborate, are interested in finding new ways to educate the community and policy makers about the needs of youth in foster care - especially those waiting to be adopted. Please contact executive director Schylar Baber with opportunities and requests. 

Current Projects

The Adoptive Family Portrait Project is VFA's primary annual project, and in 2013 won and Excellence in Adoption award from the federal Children's Bureau. VFA finds families that have adopted from foster care around the country and pairs them with a member of congress. Once paired, VFA writes the families adoption story and obtains a family portrait. During National Adoption Month in November, the members of congress paired with each family display the story and portrait in their DC offices. Participants in the Adoptive Family Portrait Project are invited to attend a National Foster Care Month reception and program on Capitol Hill - where all of the families stories and portraits are displayed to kick off the month. 

The Permanency in the Courts Project is in partnership with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and the American Bar Association. VFA compiled an in-depth analysis and survey of permanency issues facing older youth, and how the court systems could support older youth finding adoption or other permanent connections. In addition to the full publication, there is a bench card available and recorded webinar - all great resources for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), judges, lawyers, and other court professionals. No child is ever too old to be adopted. 

The Annual National Adoption Awards focus attention on the crucial need for strong post-adoption support services for adoptive families and overcoming interjurisdictional barriers to adoption of children from foster care.

  • The Drenda Lakin Memorial Award for Continuing Service to Adoptive Families Award honors a state, nonprofit organization, or individual whose programs provide valuable adoptive family support after adoptions are finalized.
  • The Breaking Barriers Adoption Award (formerly Adoptions Across Boundaries Award) is presented to a state, county, tribal child welfare agency, or dedicated individual that has made diligent efforts in overcoming barriers, which can include age, geographic, and/or special needs, to find permanent families for children waiting to be adopted.
  • The Family Advocacy Champion Award is a new award in 2020, aligned closely with the newly revised mission of Voice for Adoption, which honors a family that has chosen to use their experiences within the US Child Welfare System to advocate for and promote Adoption, Guardianship, Relational Permanence, or Reunification within their city, state or region through legislative testimony, participation on boards or task forces, interaction with the media, or other public outreach.
  • The Using My Story for Positive Change Award is a new award in 2020, aligned closely with the newly revised mission of Voice for Adoption, which honors a former Foster Youth or Young Adult, who has used their voice to advocate for and promote changes to practice, policy or law within their city, state, region, or at the national level to encourage and promote the connection of every child to safe, loving and permanent families.

*Note: The previously presented Adoptions Across Boundaries Award honored a state or states, organization, or dedicated individual that have made diligent efforts in overcoming geographic barriers and have a proven track record of best practices in placing children across state or county lines.