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Discover the value of membership by joining AEA’s premier national network of adoption professionals. AEA is a dynamic community of adoption recruiters, trainers, supervisors, executives, retirees, and students. We help our members build families through adoption, share solutions through our unique peer-to-peer learning opportunities, and exchange information on waiting families and children through our national publications, conference, and quarterly events.  

Our core member benefits listed below are provided to all of our members. To learn more about our membership, download our Intro to AEA presentation and review our member dues here. Please email us if you have questions. We are eager to welcome you.



Free Continuing Education Units, Webinars

Learn the latest techniques to recruit families for children in foster care. AEA’s Learn with AEA Webinar Series are led by your peers and cover topics relevant to adoption recruiters, trainers, and support workers. AEA offers continuing education units from the National Association of Social Workers for all of its Learn with AEA webinars.

National Conference

The AEA conference is an intimate gathering providing rare access to others in the adoption recruitment, retention, and support field. Adoption professionals who attend our conference cultivate relationships, develop strategic partnerships, and learn new techniques and innovations in the field of foster care adoption. Members receive deep discounts on the registration fee, and receive free continuing education units.

Online Community

AEA uses technology to connect members year-round. We provide 24-7 access to an online community that encourages peer-to-peer support by providing a modern mobile-friendly technological solution to exchange best and promising practices between members. Our online community also eliminates the isolation adoption professionals experience by creating a place for professionals to learn about practical techniques that are working in other states and encourage one another in their work.

National Matching Catalogue

AEA’s Collaborate promotes children who are waiting to be adopted and families who are hoping to adopt within the AEA membership community. Through this exchange of information on waiting families and children, the goal of the catalogue is to facilitate adoptive placements across states and jurisdictions between members of AEA.

National Adoption Matching and Conference 

Based on effective models around the country, AEA provides an unparalleled opportunity for members to present their waiting children and families to AEA’s national community through facilitated phone calls and an in-person matching event at the National Conference. Interjurisdictional placement guidance is also offered.

Child Welfare Leadership Series

Our Child Welfare leadership Series is held during AEA’s national conference and is also formatted as a webinar. This program brings leaders in the adoption community together to tackle issues relevant to their work and provides unique exposure to those who share common experiences. The calls and sessions are facilitated by recently retired professionals or those currently in leadership positions. Participants are accessible to one another via the online community following the sessions.

Peer to Peer Publication

AEA members are challenged to recruit homes that are equipped and willing to parent children who most often wait to be adopted: teenagers, large sibling groups and children with special medical needs. Members are eager to learn and share effective recruitment, retention and post-permanency strategies to support newly-formed families. AEA’s monthly peer-to-peer publication highlights best practices in recruitment and retention among other topics. The publication aptly titled “Member of the Month” features an interview with an AEA member about a best practice solution. The publication is circulated and promoted within the community and members are encouraged to personally follow-up with the member to replicate the practice. 

Standards in Practice

As the country’s only national association of adoption exchanges, AEA’s Standards in Practice is codified by our Board of Directors, and issued especially for members. All member adhere to AEA’s standard in practice.