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Adoption & Guardianship


Alaskan children who are waiting for permanent homes


Reunification with biological families is almost always the preferred goal when children come into custody and over half of children who come into foster care in Alaska are reunified.  However, when reunification is not possible, adoption is a way for a child to achieve permanency with a forever family. OCS works with the following websites to share photos and brief introductions for some of Alaska’s legally-free children who are waiting for permanent homes. Below is a description each website which allows you to submit an inquiry to express interest in adopting a child.

  • Heart Gallery of Alaska – The Heart Gallery of Alaska, sponsored by Beacon Hill, hosts listings of Alaskan children legally free for adoption. Working in conjunction with Alaska Center for Resource Families and the Office of Children’s Services, Heart Gallery of Alaska responds to family inquiries about listed children, provides orientation to families interested in adoption, and gives guidance on next steps to take when a family wishes to be considered for placement.
  • Northwest Adoption Exchange – Northwest Adoption Exchange hosts listings of children from Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho needing a permanent home.
  • AdoptUSKids – AdoptUSKids is a national project that supports child welfare systems and connects children in foster care with families. AdoptUSKids hosts listings of children from all over the nation, and allows families to register profiles to help identify potential matches.

How to be considered for placement

For the children who cannot be reunified with their parents, many will be adopted by their relatives, extended family or current foster families. There are many children for whom a permanent placement has not yet been identified. OCS is currently in need of foster and adoptive homes who are:

  • American Indian or Alaska Native;
  • willing to care for children with complex medical and/or behavioral needs;
  • willing to care for sibling groups and teens

If you are determined to be the individual/family who will best be able to meet the needs of the child, the Office of Children’s Services will provide more detailed information about the child. In Alaska, if you are not considered a relative or extended family, you must obtain a foster care license in order for a child to be placed in your care. Or you must have a current approved adoption home study. The Alaska Center for Resource Families (ACRF) can help you through the process. They have developed a recommended series of trainings called the Adoption Learning Path to help families prepare to become an adoptive family for children in care. To learn more information about adoption or foster care, please contact the Alaska Center for Resource Families (ACRF) TOLL FREE NUMBER 1-800-478-7307.