History & Achievements:
In 1973, Adopt A Special Kid (AASK) was formed with a very simple principle in mind: It is every child's right to be a permanent member of a supportive family. This was the vision of AASK's founders, Dorothy and Robert DeBolt. The DeBolt family had already long been practicing what it now was advocating: Bob and Dorothy parented 20 children, fourteen through adoption. The children they took into their home were not those traditionally viewed as being adoptable. They were children past infancy who had multiple challenges, including physical and developmental disabilities. The DeBolts took this pioneering spirit and through the establishment of AASK, became vocal advocates for all children who had no family to raise them. AASK became one of the first agencies to actively promote adoption of children with "special needs."
AASK's pioneering success in placing children in California (over 3000 children, and still counting!), lead to requests to replicate its program model. Adoption programs and services developed by AASK currently operate in California, Arizona, Ohio and New Mexico. Nationwide, programs developed by AASK over the past years have resulted in the placement of more than 12,000 children.
In addition to our programs to find families for waiting children, AASK also advocates systemic changes that will positively impact their life opportunities. In 1978, AASK introduced the concept for what is known today as the Private Adoption Agency Reimbursement Program (PAARP). PAARP provides a subsidy for each special needs adoption completed by licensed adoption agencies in California. This support helps private agencies prepare and support families for waiting children. In 1996, AASK played a critical role in the drafting and passage of the Adoption and Safe Families Act passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton. This Act ushered in sweeping changes, including key provisions to speedup and increase adoption of children who have special needs.
With our founding vision firmly in mind we look toward a future of compounding our successes.
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