Several decades ago, adoption was envisioned as a “happily ever after” ending for children who had come from difficult beginnings; however, research on “special needs” adoptions and on the impact of trauma on child development has underscored the reality that adoption does not erase the impact of early adverse experiences. Rather, considerable healing work is needed to address the consequences of those experiences.

On behalf of adoptive, kinship and guardian families, Many Lights leads the Post Adoption Support Coalition in Washington State.

The coalition works to strengthen and improve post-adoption services through analysis, advocacy and education. The coalition analyzes the effectiveness and accessibility of post-adoption services in Washington, identifies areas for improvement, prioritizes top goals, and engages with key stakeholders to improve services.

We support Washington families by advocating for effective and accessible post-adoption services that are essential to:

  • Ensure families stay together
  • Keep children out of foster care
  • Raise children to realize their full potential

“The goal is to broaden the understanding of this critical issue by the public, professionals and policymakers — and to promote a commensurate realignment of state and national priorities and resources — so that effective, accessible supports for sustaining and strengthening adoptive families become a routine, ongoing reality. The bottom line is that best practices should entail not only helping to form families, but also enabling them to succeed.” (From “Keeping the Promise”, Donaldson Institute, 2010.)

2018-19 Priorities and Strategies

Keep children and families intact and out of the child welfare system.

  • Provide adoptive, guardian and kin (relative)  families with the respite resources they need and deserve to keep their families intact and highly functional
  • Create One Stop WA, a statewide resource for families raising traumatized children. (To include post-adoption resources website, social media outreach, live person phone-based referral, information, and support.)

Become part of this coalition and help adoptive, relative, and guardian families thrive!

Contact Helen Lakeru at: or