(Note to readers: This is a guest post I’ve agreed to share with readers on a topic very close to my heart. I come from a family of 10 children–5 biological and 5 adopted. I can tell you firsthand the difference you can make in a child’s life.)
When you think about children what is the first thing that comes to mind? Smiling, laughing, hugs, happiness? Those are all great words to describe the way that kids make us feel. They make us feel loved, appreciated and needed.
But what about those kids who have never had that return experience of being loved, nurtured, needed and appreciated? Yes, as sad as it is, those kids are out there and there are thousands of them. They are the kids that are in foster care.
Most of these kids grow up never having a family to count on. They move from home to home, never knowing how long they are going to be in one place. Most of them develop the idea of the perfect family, something that exists in their mind, and something that they think will probably never exist for them.
The children who are in the foster care system are stuck. They need people who want to provide them with a loving, caring family. People who will simply bring them in and show them what compassion is. Someone who will give them a forever family, no matter how old they are.
There are 428,000 youth in the U.S. foster care system and 112,000 are waiting to be adopted. AdoptUSKids’ maintains a national photo listing service for children waiting to be adopted. Since the project launched in 2002, more than 26,000 children who were once photo listed on adoptuskids.org have been adopted and nearly 39,000 families have registered to adopt through the website. Nevertheless, older youth are disproportionally represented – approximately 43% percent of children and youth photo listed on adoptuskids.org are between 15 and 18 years old, but only 17% of those adopted have been in this age group.
Adoptuskids.org is a resource to help you whether you’re just starting the process to foster or adoption, waiting for a placement, or looking for post-adoption resources. Most people may be eligible to adopt, regardless of marital status, age, income, or sexual orientation. You don’t need to own your own home, have children already, be young, wealthy, or a stay-at-home parent to adopt or foster.
There are many misconceptions about adoption such as cost, rules and regulations. Many of them are just not true. If you are serious about learning more about fostering or adopting, please be sure to get information from a trusted resource. If you need help connecting with resources or a local agency contact us. You can also contact the foster care program manager in your State or Territory.
- Common Myths About Adoption
- Deciding to Pursue Adoption
- Applying to Adopt
- Completing an Adoption Home Study
- Getting Approved to Adopt
- Envisioning Your Family
- Being Matched with a Child
- Receiving an Adoptive Placement
- Legalizing an Adoption
- Being an Adoptive Parent
- Common Myths About Foster Care
- Applying to Foster
- Completing a Foster Home Study
- Getting Approved to Foster
- Receiving a Foster Placement
- Being a Foster Parent
No matter what their age, youth need the love and stability that a family can offer. I hope that you will take a few minutes and check out the Adoptuskids.org site. Look around and learn about fostering and adoption. Learn more about the success stories of those kids who have been adopted and how much of an impact it had on their life. Maybe today you can make a difference in the life of a child.