Through collaboration and the provision of innovative, quality services, the AASK program is committed to permanency for children by promoting and expediting strong and lasting relationships through adoption, for children with special needs who have experienced the loss of their families.
The Process: Philosophy Statement is Children are entitled to continuity, stability, and a sense of belonging. Ideally, children belong with their birth parents. When this is not possible, adoption with extended family, family friends, foster families or other prepared families is a preferred alternative to relinquishing without permanency. We believe that families are essential to the growth and development of children. Most people can parent if provided with preparation, full disclosure of information, training, and the power to make informed decisions about adoption.
Adoption Group Preparation: After an inquiry meeting, a couple or single person must attend PRIDE (Parenting, Resources, Information, Development & Education), a 27-hour training offered periodically throughout the state. There will then be home visits, parenting and personality inventories, background checks, reference checks, and questionnaires to help them decide whether adoption is the path to take.
A.A.S.K Referral and Placement: Children are generally referred from the county social service system or Tribal Social Services. They must be in the custody of the county or state. A special needs child is defined as: a child over age 7, or a child of minority race, or a member of a sibling group, or a child at risk of or having a physical, emotional, or mental disability. After an approved assessment, you may inquire on a child that you are interested in and the process for placement may begin. Extensive post-placement services are provided to the family through the ND Post Adopt Network, which is a service of the AASK program.
The Adults Adopting Special Kids (AASK) Program is a collaborative special needs adoption program serving the adoption needs of children in the foster care system. AASK Partners are Catholic Charities North Dakota, Nexus-Path, Inc, and the North Dakota Department of Human Services.