Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms


Acronym for Multi-Ethnic Placement Act of 1994.

Multi-Ethnic Placement Act

A federal law enacted in 1994 and implemented through State policy. The Multi-Ethnic Placement Act prohibits the delay or denial of any adoption or placement in foster care due to the race, color, or national origin of the child or of the foster or adoptive parents and requires States to provide for diligent recruitment of potential foster and adoptive families who reflect the ethnic and racial diversity of children for whom homes are needed. The 1996 amendment affirms the prohibition against delaying or denying the placement of a child for adoption or foster care on the basis of race, color or national origin of the foster or adoptive parents or of the child involved.

Non-recurring Adoption Costs

One-time adoption expenses, which may be at least partially reimbursed by States up to a maximum limit of $2,000 to families adopting children with special needs. Allowable expenses for this reimbursement benefit can include the cost of a home study, adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees, physical and psychological examinations, travel to visit with the child prior to the placement, and other expenses related to the legal adoption of a child with special needs.

Occupational Therapy

The science of using everyday activities with specific goals, to help people of all ages prevent, lessen, or overcome physical disabilities.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

A recurrent pattern of negative, defiant, disobedient, and hostile behavior toward authority figures that persists for at least six months. This disorder is characterized by frequent occurrence of at least four of the following behaviors: frequent loss of temper, tendency to argue with adults, refusal to obey adult rules or requests, deliberate behaviors to annoy others, spiteful and vindictive behavior, being touchy or easily annoyed by others, being angry and resentful, use of obscene language, and a tendency to blame others for mistakes or misbehaviors. Symptoms are less severe than those associated with Conduct Disorder but sometimes indicate the early stages of Conduct Disorder (CD) and may sometimes lead to the development of Antisocial Personality Disorder during adulthood.

Parents Patriae

Legal term that defines the State’s legal role as the guardian to protect the interests of children who cannot take care of themselves. For example, in an abuse or neglect case, this concept is used to explain the State’s duty to protect minor children who lack proper care and custody from their parents.

Permanency Planning

The systematic process of carrying out (within a brief, time-limited period) a set of goal-directed activities designed to help children live in permanent families. This process has the goal of providing the child continuity of relationships with nurturing parents or caretakers and the opportunity to establish lifetime family relationships.

Photolisting Book

A publication that contains photos and descriptions of children who are available for adoption.

Placement Date

The time at which the child comes to live with the adopting parents. Post-institutionalized Child Children adopted from institutional, hospital, or orphanage settings. The term is used to describe an array of emotional and psychological disturbances, developmental delays, learning disabilities, and/or medical problems resulting, in part, from their stay in institutions.

Post-legal Adoption Services

Services provided subsequent to legal finalization of the adoption. There are primarily four types of post-legal service providers: social service agencies, private therapists, mental health clinics and self-help groups.

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