The RTI teams plan for selecting the sites for the case study included developing a list of recommended sites by using information collected as part of an effort by the Center for Adoption Studies at Illinois State University (ILSU). ILSU was compiling information on characteristics of post-adoption service (PAS) programs (e.g., sponsorship, services and supports provided, number of families served, funding sources) by interviewing state adoption managers. However, because ILSUs information was not available for all participating states in time for site selection, RTI also relied on expert opinion. The team contacted three individuals whose professional roles and previous work made them particularly knowledgeable about existing programs and the field of PAS generally:
- Susan Smith, faculty and co-director, Center for Adoption Studies, ILSU
- Jane Morgan, adoption specialist, U.S. DHHS, Administration for Children and Families
- Kathy Ledesma, Oregon state adoption coordinator and chair, National Association of State Adoption Programs
Asked to identify well-regarded programs, these individuals collectively mentioned 11 states, among which there was a strong degree of convergence. Using this information, ASPE selected 5 state programs for the case study: Georgia, Massachusetts, Oregon, Texas, and Virginia.