Amara finds loving adoptive homes for children in foster care and for infants who have been relinquished to Amara's care. We educate, guide, and support adoptive parents so that they may sustain healthy and well-bonded families, capable of meeting the needs of vulnerable children. In recent years we have sharpened our focus to address the reality that many children wait too long to be adopted, and are at a high risk of aging out of foster care at 18 without a lifelong family. We work diligently to find families for these “harder to place” children, including children of color, children age 6 and older, and groups of siblings.
Temporary Foster Care
Oftentimes, children in foster care need a safe, temporary home until they can return to their birth parents or until they are found an adoptive home. Amara partners with foster parents who can provide the compassion that these children need during a particularly vulnerable time in their lives.
Pregnancy and Parenting Counseling
Amara also offers free, non-judgmental pregnancy counseling to women facing an unplanned pregnancy. Amara's caring and experienced counselors help women explore all their options and connect them with helpful community resources. We work with a client’s partner and her extended family whenever possible. Our counselors offer emotional support, accurate information, referrals and encouragement toward stability and healing, no matter what path our clients decide to take.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Rachel is a vivacious six-year-old who was placed with her adoptive mom Julie in December 2011.* Rachel and Julie’s first six months together were rocky: Rachel had already been in four foster homes. And she missed her birth mom, struggling to remember why they couldn’t be together. Julie questioned whether she had the skills to parent Rachel through this difficult time.
But they persevered, and in June 2012, Rachel announced to their Amara social worker, “My mom and I have decided that we are ready to be adopted.” The adoption was finalized in October, marked by a big celebration.
Julie talks about Rachel’s transformation with a mother’s joy. “Since the adoption, life has calmed down for Rachel. We’ve become family. We’ve built a relationship. Now, she asks, ‘When I get a license, will I get a car?’ And, ‘When I go to high school, where will I go?’ She has started talking about the future. She didn’t talk about those things before.”
Rachel and Julie now have a lifetime of plans to look forward to together, as a forever family.
*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of our families
Currently Amara’s greatest need is to prepare more families who can embrace older children and siblings, who are at higher risk of languishing in the foster care system because they are more difficult to place. Philanthropic support allows us to keep our adoption fees low so that we can attract a larger, more diverse pool of foster-adoptive families who can meet the needs of these children.