Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Public Administration

First Committee Member

Christopher Stream, Chair

Number of Pages



Persons contemplating adoption in Clark County face many legal boundaries and lengthy delays. Since adoption is a creature of Clark County, the answers usually can be found in state statutes, agency regulations, and court opinions. Federal statutory and constitutional laws also play a huge part in such areas as adoption subsidies, adoption of children with special needs, and training of all adoption workers.

While the overall adoption program is similar in all states, the fine points frequently differ. This research outlines the legal foundation of adoption, describing the adoption legal process, and the workings of the Department of Family Services (DPS). A flowchart has been created to illustrate the inner-workings of the department, and all possible courses of action that prospective adoptive parents may undertake. In addition, it discusses a range of recommendations, which we deem a necessity to repair the system.

Interviews with adoptive parents, as well as with current and former agency staff members document a range of frustrating issues and barriers that prevent efficiency. These include difficulty in accessing the DPS, unpleasant initial contacts and ongoing frustration with the agency or aspects of the process.

This study is the first analysis of the adoption program in Clark County based on information collected from thirty files that were provided by a DPS supervisor. It provides the County with something it never had before - a picture of the internal procedures of the adoption department.


Adoption — Law and legislation; Nevada – Clark County


Other Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation | Public Administration | Social Policy

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




Appendixes attached

AppendixA.pdf (358 kB)
AppendixB.pdf (383 kB)
AppendixC.pdf (574 kB)


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