Paths for Families Paths for Families


  • Navigating Adoption
    I’m Pregnant

    I’m Pregnant

    If you're facing an unintended pregnancy or have recently given birth, we're here for you with free and confidential all-options counseling, resources, and support. Call our pregnancy counselors 24/7 at 800-439-0233.

    I Want to Adopt

    I Want to Adopt

    Browse our network of adoption services including infant and foster care adoption, home studies, and post-adoption support.

    I Need Post-Adoption Support

    I Need Post-Adoption Support

    Explore our network of services including specialized counseling and support groups that help to stabilize and improve behavioral health symptoms.

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Looking for Adoptions Together or FamilyWorks Together? New name, same us. Here’s why!


More Than a Black Square: Actions Matter (2022 Revisitation and Updates)

As we celebrated and reflected on Black History Month throughout the month of February, we’re revisiting last year’s blog post, “More Than a Black Square: Actions Matter.” In this post, we shared that a core goal of Adoptions Together is to address systemic racism and white supremacy through the services we deliver. It’s important to note that this is a pivotal focus of our organization year-round, not just in the month of February.

We put truth to these words through our actions. In honor of this year’s Black History Month, we’re reviewing the commitments we made last February and sharing honest feedback, recommitments, and new steps we’re taking in 2022 to address implicit or explicit racism and white supremacy in the child welfare system. Click through the information below to learn more

Diversity Committee:

2021 Response:

  • Adoptions Together’s Diversity Committee was formed in the fall of 2019 and officially started meeting in 2020. Beginning in June 2020, in addition to planning training opportunities and making policy recommendations, our Diversity Committee instituted monthly Brown Bag Zoom Lunches, creating a safe space for our staff members and contractors to come together to listen, learn, and have respectful, yet unapologetically frank conversations.

2022 Update:

  • Throughout the past year, we were thrilled that the Diversity and Inclusion Committee meetings became an opportunity for connection, growth, and productive discussion for our staff. In an effort to continue to learn based on feedback, the Diversity and Inclusion Committee is revamping and enhancing the meetings for 2022 as well as connecting with the staff on a more regular basis. One example of an initiative is sharing contributions of a specific culture and/or intersection of cultures each month. For February, the Committee shared information about successful, dynamic change makers in the Black community including Bayard Rustin, Brad Simms, and Ayana Elizabeth Johnson.

Stronger Together | Processing and Leading Social Change

2021 Response:

  • An initiative that began in January 2021 and includes weekly full staff dialogs to process personal feelings, create mutual understanding and support, and identify practice changes and new services that will enhance the impact of the agency. The well-being of our team is critical to our ability to provide optimal services and staying flexible and responsive to the needs of the community ensures that we are delivering the highest impact services possible.

2022 Update:

  • Started after the January 6 insurrection, the Stronger Together meetings were an excellent opportunity for empathetic check-ins with staff throughout much of 2021 as together we navigated the many difficult feelings that emerged.

Domestic Infant Placement Program Policy

2022 Update:

  • While race has always been at the forefront of our mission since our inception, over the past 2 years we have deepened our conversations and study regarding race and practice in our programs and as an agency at large. We listened to experiences from staff, people who were adopted interracially, families who adopted interracially, and clients and colleagues of color who bravely shared their own trauma. Additionally, we turned the lens to ourselves and to our practices to find ways that we could do a better job aligning our values with our policies.Specifically, in our Domestic Infant Program, we have identified ways that we can prioritize race when measuring the best interests of the children that we place for adoption. The voices of adoptees are consistently encouraging adoption professionals to place children in same-race families when possible. Their lived experiences and adoption reflections have emphasized the great importance of healthy racial and cultural self-identity and connection to birth culture. This can certainly be achieved by intentional, culturally competent, interracial adoptive parenting, but is most effectively achieved through placing children with a parent(s) that mirrors their racial and/or cultural background.As a result, Adoptions Together will be putting the highest value on race when making placement decisions for infants whose birth parents do not want to choose an adoptive family. In these circumstances, when possible, infants will be placed with the longest waiting family who has a matching profile and one or both adoptive parents is of the same race of the child. At the same time, we continue to support and celebrate interracial adoption and are committed to preparing prospective adoptive families to parent interracially as they are chosen by birth families.

Salary Transparency

2022 Update:

  • In alignment with our organizational commitment to equity, several salary-related changes began in 2022 including updates to our salary guidelines, standardizing salaries for existing staff, and posting accurate salary ranges for all positions moving forward. Between January 1, 2021 and January 1, 2022, we made market adjustments to 100% of the job classification bands and made corresponding adjustments to individual salaries to bring them in line. In 2022 we will update our performance review system to include a wider range of feedback and merit-based salary increases.

2023-2025 Strategic Plan

2022 Update:

  • 2022 is the bridge year as we prepare our next strategic plan for years 2023-2025. SMARTIE Goals will be implemented, ensuring that we are infusing a DEI lens in creation of these pivotal goals for 2023-2025.


2021 Trainings:

  • Janice Goldwater, Founder & CEO, participated in the six month Anti-Racist Leadership Series through Leadership Greater Washington; and serves as a working member of Achieving Race Equity in Child Welfare (Maryland state-wide workgroup).
  • Audra Hurd, Operations Director, attended the Sorkin Center at Compass’ Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Event that focused on what to consider and where to begin when developing culture, policies, and programs that support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within a nonprofit. Audra is also registered to attend a three-part Policy & Practice Training with the Human Rights Campaign’s All Children-All Families Project.
  • Adoptions Together has regular staff training and participated in the first of a series of all-staff Diversity & Inclusion Training, led by Kia Silver-Hodge, SPHR, CPEC, Coach and Inclusion Strategist.
  • Four members of our team are enrolled in the Helen J. Serini Foundation’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Training. This multi-part series focuses on helping organizations create and sustain more inclusive environments by changing their cultures and identifying how their policies, practices, and procedures unwittingly create barriers to inclusion and belonging.
  • Staff members are participating in the Adoption Exchange Association’s educational programming focused on race and equity in the child welfare system. Some sessions include Reducing Racial Disproportionality Among Waiting Youth in Need of Permanency and We Must Do Better For Children: Race and Equity in Foster Care and Adoption.

2022 Trainings:

  • In October 2021, our team met for another All-Staff Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training with Kia Silver-Hodge, SPHR, CPEC, Coach and Inclusion Strategist and Beth Wheeler, LICSW, of Edges Education and Consulting, LLC. Last year’s session was led by thoughtful staff feedback collected anonymously and focused on discussion of our internal and external DEI practices, what progress has been made, and what we can do differently moving forward. It also focused on gaining a stronger understanding of gender, gender diversity, and how to continue providing inclusive care for individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+.
  • We will be working to ensure our DEI policies align with all staff levels and goals through additional consultant partnerships in 2022.
  • As an appointed member of the Maryland Council for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, Janice Goldwater serves as a member of the Achieving Racial Equity Workgroup that focuses on recommendations for an anti-racist child welfare system. She continues to participate in state-wide and community initiatives to grow her knowledge and ability to be catalyst for change in the child welfare system.

HRC Accredidations


  • Adoptions Together is a recognized 2019 and 2020 Innovator of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s All Children – All Families Project. HRC’s All Children – All Families, a project of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, promotes LGBTQ inclusive policies and affirming practices among child welfare agencies and formally recognizes those agencies that are leading the field with innovative approaches to inclusion. All staff are currently involved in additional trainings as we work towards this achievement in 2021.


Interracial Adoption Group (INTAG)

2021 Response:

  • After hearing feedback from our existing Transracial Adoption Family Group, we added the Transracial Adoption Children’s Group to provide a safe space of emotional support for children and youth adopted transracially to engage in open discussion and guided activities focused on civic and cultural topics that impact their lives. This group aims to increase their consciousness of their resilience, self-worth, and the value they add to their family, community, and the world.

    We also revamped the private Transracial Adoption Facebook Group to provide increased opportunities for learning and interaction on a day-to-day basis.

2022 Update:

  • Adoptions Together renamed the Transracial Adoption Groups the Interracial Adoption Groups (INTAG) after internal and external discussion and the conclusion that “transracial” may no longer be the most effective way to describe these families. With the societal awareness of, and advocacy around the word “transgender,” we want to reduce confusion that the word transracial can create. Using the word “interracial” or “racially diverse” or “mixed race” to describe the adoption of a child of one race by the parents of another race is more consistent with the practice and also better understood by the general community. The agency also significantly expanded the scope and frequency of group meetings in 2021, bringing in new team members with lived experience to help facilitate those discussions.

    The Interracial Adoption Facebook Group continues to be a catalyst for discussion, questions, and connection for those who have adopted interracially.

Interracial Adoption and Parenting Webinar

2021 Response:

  • For the month of February, we have waived the registration fee for the Transracial-Transcultural Adoption and Parenting webinar. Families who adopt transracially or transculturally will face a unique set of concerns that require careful thought, preparation, and ongoing education. This webinar is designed to educate prospective and current foster and adoptive parents about the important issues involved in transracial and transcultural adoption including selecting a school and community that embraces differences, educating extended family members, responding to intrusive questions, and preparing your child to confront racism.

2022 Update:

  • 21 participants were able to increase their toolkit by viewing the Interracial Adoption and Parenting Webinar for free in February 2021. We are excited to again be offering this webinar for free during May 2022 which is National Foster Care Month.

In 2022, we are recommitting to the work and growth that lies ahead and will continue to provide updates of our progress and actions. As always, we welcome your feedback.