Accreditation for Adoption Service Providers

Adoption Services were among the first services accredited by COA at its inception in 1977 and by 1992 the standards were expanded to include customized standards for intercountry adoption services.  COA’s adoption standards are written to encompass best practices associated with all types of adoption and build on the foundation of federal and state laws, regulations and policies.  

COA was an early champion of U.S. efforts to establish the Hague Convention for Intercountry Adoption and remains a supporter of its protections against child trafficking and provisions to facilitate adoptions.  From 2006 to 2018 COA served as the only authorized national accrediting entity in the United States and worked closely with the Department of State, adoption service providers, individuals and families, and other stakeholders to ensure a sound accreditation system under the Convention was established and in place.  COA’s work drove monumental shifts in intercountry adoption practices and COA is proud of the ways in which that accreditation helped strengthen the administration and services provided by so many adoption service providers.  In October 2017, COA discontinued its role as a provider of accreditation under the Convention and in 2018 IAAME assumed those responsibilities.   
In 2018, COA launched two initiatives to strengthen its accreditation of adoption services:

UPDATED ADOPTION STANDARDS FOR ORGANIZATIONAL ACCREDITATION

In November of 2018, COA made substantial updates to its standards for adoption services, incorporating standards for domestic and international services into one section.  The Adoption Service Standards set forth best practices for ensuring that adoptions are effective and conducted ethically and in the best interests of children.   For more information please review the Adoption Service Standards.   This set of comprehensive standards address all components of an adoption program and can be used by organizations seeking to have their entire organization accredited including all other programs that align with COA’s service standards.   

NEW ACCREDITATION OPTION FOR HOME STUDY PROGRAMS

In 2019, in recognition of the unique context of home study services, COA launched a new option for Home Study Programs to achieve accreditation.  This program accreditation option is available to programs that provide home studies for domestic and/or international adoptions.  For more information please contact COA

This program accreditation can be used by programs that need to have accreditation in order to conduct home studies.  While the program accreditation includes a review of international home studies and includes relevant concepts from the regulations governing intercountry adoption accreditation, it is separate and different from that accreditation.  Accreditation under those regulations is required if the program provides certain other adoption services in international adoptions. 

 

 

WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

Sweetser, a Maine non-profit agency operating since 1828, provides comprehensive mental and behavioral health and substance abuse treatment services. Statewide, it serves around 15,000 consumers a year, including children, adults, and families in outpatient, office-based, and residential settings.
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VOLUNTEER TESTIMONIAL

Judy Kay, LCSW

Volunteer Roles: Peer Reviewer; Team Leader

In administration for 22 of 24 years at Child Saving Institute, a COA-accredited not-for-profit child welfare agency in Omaha, Nebraska. Retired approximately two years ago, I moved to Tucson, Arizona, where I advocate for children's rights as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer to three young children.
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