About Amara - Amara

About Amara

All people deserve the opportunity to thrive.

Amara has a bold vision to change the world when it comes to how we support and care for children, adults, and families experiencing foster care and considering adoption, in our communities. We believe all people, regardless of circumstance, deserve the opportunity to thrive. As a nonprofit 501(c)3, we partner with people and communities most impacted by our child welfare system, to address trauma, build connections, and ultimately ensure all children, adults and families feel safe and supported, with a commitment to equity every step of the way. Click here to learn more in our new, scrollable brochure

More is More When it Comes to Family

That is the philosophy of Grayson’s birth and adoptive family, and the philosophy we share with our Amara foster families. Katie and Jonathan Biron became foster parents knowing the importance of maintaining relationships between kids and their parents. While fostering Grayson, they formed a close relationship with his biological family who became one large extended family through adoption. “There’s room to start small…It’s ok to start somewhere. You can grow into this.”

Hear from Katie and Jonathan Biron, and Grayson’s “other mother” Laura in Grayson’s Story. 

More Family Stories

Our Mission

Amara is committed to positive long-term outcomes for children and families. We promote healing, racial and LGBTQIA+ equity, and transformation of our child welfare system into a family well-being system by:

  • Offering programs and services to families engaged with foster care and adoption
  • Offering programs and services to adoptees and families, post-adoption
  • Driving systemic change

Shortened Statement: Amara is committed to positive long-term outcomes for children and families. We drive systemic change, promote healing, and advance racial and LGBTQIA+ equity, by offering programs and services to families engaged in foster care, and to adoptees and families, post-adoption.

Our Vision

Amara envisions a just and equitable world where all children, youth, adults and communities can grow and thrive.

Our History

Since 1921, Amara has been devoted to meeting the needs of children and families in the Puget Sound region. Amara began as the Medina Baby Home — an orphanage — and over the decades has evolved as an innovative organization that seeks to fill the gaps in child welfare by taking risks and breaking down systemic barriers to provide respectful, affirming care and support to all children in foster care, adoptees, and families. 

In the 1940s, 50s, and 60s we pioneered efforts to find foster families for sibling groups and older children. In the 1970s, we partnered with the Department of Health and Seattle Public Schools to provide comprehensive school-based services to pregnant teens and teen mothers and we continue to partner with child welfare organizations to bring about child-centered court reform throughout Washington State. 

Wwere one of the first organizations in the country to coordinate transracial adoptions (placing a child of one race or ethnicity with adoptive parents of another race or ethnicity) and prioritize training and support for foster parents and adoptive parents to nurture a child’s cultural and racial identity different from their own.  

We are also one of the first child welfare organizations in the country to work with LGBTQIA+ couples and individuals, and single parentsWe are honored to have been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign’s All Children – All Families program every year since 2013. In 2019, we received their highest tier of recognition: Innovative Inclusion. All Children – All Families promotes LGBTQ-inclusive policies and affirming practices among child welfare agencies. We are proud to be considered among HRC’s agencies that lead the field with innovative approaches to inclusion! 

In 2014, we opened our first Emergency Sanctuaryin Seattle, providing a temporary home to kids, “a safe landing”, who were recently removed from their own home. In 2016, Amara launched our Post-Adoption Program to support adoptees, adoptive and first families; and opened our Pierce County office, including an Emergency Sanctuary in Tacoma.  

And in 2018, we purchased 29 acres of land in Pierce County with a vision to launch a new community-based project designed to co-locate programs and services for kids and families impacted by or at risk of entering foster care. The vision for the project is based on recommendations from an extensive community engagement process led by people most impacted by foster care and adoption, and people of color. 

In 2021 and beyond, Amara will continue to expand our programs and services that strengthen the wellbeing of children: community, equity, family, and connection. Through growing programs to support kinship care, family reunification, and nurturing continued connection to birth families and community, Amara continues to center innovative practices that influence and shape the field through informed practice and policy influence to ensure that all children, adults and families have what they need to grow and thrive. 

Get in Touch

We want to hear from you! Let us know how we can support you or how you would like to support kids in foster care, adoptees, and families at Amara.

Related Pages

Our Team

Our dynamic team works together to support the well-being of children in foster care, adoptees, and their families.

Meet Our Team

Stories and News

Learn more about our work through the words of our families, staff, and supporters. 

Find Stories