Milgard Adoption Project (MAP)

Adoption Navigator Project

Considering Special Needs Adoption in Washington? The Northwest Adoption Exchange’s (NWAE) Adoption Navigator Project is now open for enrollment and it’s free. NWAE is working directly with Washington's Children’s Administration (CA) and the Division of Licensed Resources (DLR) to increase adoptions by providing foster-adopt families with the tools to navigate the foster care system and find their adoptive placement.

This program will provide families with:

  • a sound understanding of the foster care system and the CA adoption program;
  • an exploration of their options for an adoptive placement in Washington;
  • tools to find the children available for adoption;
  • training on how to gather information on a specific child and prepare for an adoptive placement;
  • information on the core issues in parenting a special needs child;
  • training on how to prepare an adoptive family profile; and,
  • registration with the Washington Adoption Resource Exchange (WARE).

Families will have an advocate to support them in their placement decisions and an experienced worker to answer their questions to ensure a good placement match. In this sense, project staff will represent the family, process initial inquiries, and forward necessary paperwork for families to be considered for an adoptive placement and work directly with DSHS staff. This is a completely new service for DSHS foster adopt families and we are anxious to get started.

There is no charge to families.

Who is eligible? To qualify for this project families must have a foster care license and/or a DSHS adoption homestudy for an older child placement (6 to 18). Eligible families must be served by the Bremerton, Tacoma or Olympia DSHS offices.

Enrollment is limited. If you are interested in learning more, please send an email to Patrick Weber, NWAE at

This project is made available by a grant from the Gary E. Milgard Foundation.

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