Learn more about Pact’s approach to adoption.

Building your family by adopting takes more than love — it takes careful thought and preparation.

Two adopted African American infants sleeping Since 1991, Pact has facilitated over a thousand adoptions. As a full service licensed adoption agency, we have the experience and expertise to walk you through the emotional, logistical, and legal steps of what can seem at times an overwhelming adoption process. You can trust us to work with you in an honest, ethical manner, to treat expectant and first/birth parents fairly and respectfully, and to always place the child's interests first.

Pact helps pre-adoptive parents yearning to adopt African American, Latino, Asian and multiracial children born anywhere in the United States. Pact actively recruits families of color, particularly African American parents, who are historically under-served in the world of adoption. Ninety eight percent of our placements involve at least one adoptive parent who shares the racial or ethnic heritage of the child they adopt. Pact works to make adoption ethical and accessible to all qualified parents, including low- and middle-income families. If you reside in the state of NY please email consult@pactadopt.org for more information about how Pact can support your adoption journey.

When we work with parents who want to adopt across racial lines, we begin with an educational process that provides a strong grounding in the way race and adoption intersect. All transracial adopters who wish to use Pact's placement services are required to participate in Building Community Across Cultures (BCAC) before Pact will work with them toward a placement. BCAC gives parents strategies to ensure that their lifestyle does not result in racial or cultural isolation for their child. Prospective transracial adopters are welcome to participate in BCAC even if they choose not to use Pact's placement services.

Where do I begin?

Most pre-adoptive parents come to Pact with a lot of questions. Here are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions and how we answer them.

After you've read the FAQs, please feel free to give us a call at (510) 243-9460 or contact us by email:

The placement process begins with a Pre-Placement Consultation, in person or by phone. Prospective adoptive parents of color (including inter-racial couples) begin the consultation process by completing the Prospective Adoptive Parent Application.

For pre-adoptive families who wish to be considered ONLY as candidates to adopt across racial lines (no parent will share racial or ethnic identity with the child), we require completion of Building Community Across Cultures Forms prior to beginning the placement application with Pact. Once we receive your forms we can set up the consultation appropriate to your family and your needs.

For pre-adoptive families who wish to be considered as candidates for a same-race placement AS WELL AS for a placement across racial lines (that is, parents of color who are open to adopting children of a different racial or ethnic heritage) you will need to complete the BCAC program prior to becoming eligible to adopt transracially.

After your consultation, if you like the Pact approach, you can be considered as a placement candidate. Our placement program is actively recruiting adoptive parents of color who will share their child's racial heritage, particularly families with one or more parent of African descent. Our placement program is also available to parents who wish to adopt across racial lines and have completed the BCAC program. We never take on more clients than we anticipate will be required to meet the needs of available children over the next 18 months, which means that sometimes potential clients are placed on a waiting list prior to being accepted. Families are welcome to inquire on the rate of turnover of families currently participating in Pact's placement program, and the current length of the waiting list.

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What should I expect?

We will explain who we are (see Our Staff), what we believe Overview & Mission), and how we work (see Pre-Placement). You can expect us to treat you as we would wish to be treated - with respect and honesty. In return, we will expect you to be genuinely honest with yourself about the changes that adoption will cause in your life and family.

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What happens next?

As a full service adoption agency with robust post-placement services, Pact will work with you before, during, and after placement. We will work closely and continuously with you throughout the adoption process, as well as with the expectant parents and other adoption professionals who may be involved in the process.
  • Creating A Plan: Together, we will explore what you will be comfortable with and, most importantly, what is best for children who are adopted. Who is the child that you hope to adopt? What kind of contact with birth family will you want after placement? What kind of budget can you afford for adoption expenses? We will work to meet your individual desires while helping you begin the transition from putting your own needs first to focusing on those of the child you hope to parent.
  • Putting Your Plan in Motion: The steps of the placement process will vary somewhat depending on whether it is an Agency-Assisted Adoption or an Independent Adoption (for definitions of these terms, see Resources). If a family is located in one of the California counties in which Pact is licensed, then Pact may provide their home study. If a family resides in a county or state where Pact is not licensed, they will be required to obtain a home study and complete post-placement supervision with a licensed agency in their locale. We can help you decide who to work with (see Selecting an Adoption Professional to Work With in Resources).

  • Preparing for Success: As you await the day when a beautiful child of color becomes part of your family, you will attend Pact workshops for (pre-)adoptive parents, or equivalent classes in your region, and complete selected readings. You will continue to have individualized consultations with Pact staff, primarily by phone. Often, unexpected feelings arise as you begin to understand the lifelong journey on which you are embarking by building your family through adoption. We'll be there to support you, and provide access to other families who have adopted.
  • Creating Your Profile: You will create a personal profile which we will use to introduce you to expectant parents who are considering placement for their child. With your permission, we will add your profile to a secure online site where expectant parents and adoption professionals can view our waiting families (see Families Looking To Adopt). You can also use our networking techniques to do your own outreach to expectant parents.
  • Connecting with Expectant Parents: Every month, women/couples facing untimely pregnancies seek support as they consider an adoption plan. Adoption professionals call Pact regularly to maximize choices available to women/couples considering adoption for their children of color. Expectant parents can express interest in specific families after viewing the online profiles, or they may ask us to select some profiles for them to review. In either case, the goal is to find families that match their stated hopes and needs. If they rank you as their first choice, we then give you all the information we have about the expectant parents, so you can decide if you want to proceed in making an adoption plan with them. Together we evaluate the situation. What worries you? What feels good? What do you still want to know? What can you do to get ready for your first telephone conversation/meeting? How can you manage your fears that they might decide to parent, while being emotionally ready to welcome the new baby into your family if they proceed with a placement? Adoptions work best when everyone thinks of the other person first, particularly about the baby.
  • Completing Your Plan: When a "match" is made between you and expectant parents, it can often happen very quickly and very close to or even after a child's birth. Pact will be there to help you manage this sometimes overwhelming experience. We will work to clarify issues as they come to the surface, including all the legal and logistical decisions to be made, and we will facilitate and coordinate communication between you, the expectant parents, and other service providers.

  • After Placement: We will remain in close contact with you and your child's birth family after the placement to ensure that the legal steps necessary to complete the adoption are done in a timely way. We will also be available to help you negotiate the early steps of attachment as well as contact with your child's birth family members. For Pact home study families, we will conduct your post-placement visits. We also continue to offer free counseling to the child's first/birth parents.

  • After Finalization: Adoption is a lifelong journey. As your children move through different ages and stages, Pact will be available to you, offering parenting workshops, support groups, "parenting tune-up" consultations, and our annual Pact Family Camp.

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