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Our vision is a world in which all children everywhere have nurturing, permanent families.


Passionately committed to the belief that every child deserves to thrive in a nurturing, permanent family, National Council For Adoption’s mission is to meet the diverse needs of children, birth parents, adoptees, adoptive families, and all those touched by adoption through global advocacy, education, research, legislative action, and collaboration.

Our Core Values



NCFA adheres to and promotes the responsible stewardship of our resources and the highest ethical standards in adoption practice while remaining respectful of cultural traditions and values.



NCFA is committed to be a trusted, inclusive, and non-partisan voice and resource for the adoption community, government officials, policymakers, and the public.



NCFA will always focus on adoption and the human right to a permanent, loving, family.



NCFA partners with a diverse population of stakeholders and supports the entire adoption community, including birth parents, adoptive parents, adoptees, and adoption professionals.


NCFA began in 1980 as a project with a specific mission: to educate America about the downsides of a draft 'Model State Adoption Act' that had been produced by an Advisory Panel of the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW). Dr. William L. Pierce, who continued as NFCA’s president for the next 20 years, and Ruby Lee Piester, executive director of what is now the Gladney Center for Adoption, founded NCFA to oppose the "Model Act" which would have dramatically changed the nature of adoption in the US by recommending a number of changes in state adoption policy and practice.

The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW)—now the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)—published the Draft Model State Adoption Act in February 15, 1980, in the Federal Register for comments. Despite strong opposition from the public, the Model Act was still positioned to push through - which is when NCFA formally came into being as a non-profit, non-sectarian advocacy organization.

Many adoption agencies and national organizations felt unable and unwilling to take on the adoption controversies presented by the draft Model Act. Subsequently, a group of concerned adoption agency representatives and individuals met at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport and voted to charter the National Committee For Adoption (later changed to Council). With a shoestring budget, NCFA was launched. NCFA worked closely with HHS to ensure the revised Model Act would truly advance the cause of finding families for children with special needs. Since that time, NCFA has continued to advocate for children, birth parents, and families as America's top authority on adoption issues.

Over the course of our history, we have been repeatedly called on by policymakers to help craft adoption policies that benefit children and families. We support efforts that encourage and facilitate adoption, monitor federal and state legislation, and address policies and laws that form barriers to children finding the nurturing, permanent families they deserve.

We partner with community-based agencies, national groups and individuals, and child welfare authorities worldwide to find families for children. Our focus includes domestic infant adoption, international adoption, and adoption from foster care. We believe in adoption as a loving option for a child to have a permanent family, regardless of the child's age, health, ability, race, or ethnicity. We collaborate with our member adoption agencies across the country to serve the best interests of children and advance adoption policies and practices that promote the best interest of children everywhere.

Thanks to the hard work of our dedicated staff, our network of member adoption agencies and attorneys, and the generous support of our donors, NCFA continues to make a positive impact in the world of adoption.