Hi everyone! Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and enjoyed spending time with friends and family. Speaking of family, this month is National Adoption Month and November 19th is National Adoption Day.
What began as National Adoption Week in 1984 turned into National Adoption Month in 1995, when President Clinton issued a proclamation establishing the first National Adoption Month. Every November, the Children’s Bureau highlights topics related to adoption and the need for more teenagers in foster care to be adopted into loving homes. This is critical, since 22% of the 114,000 children waiting to be adopted are 13-17 years old, and children usually spend 34 months in foster care, while waiting to be adopted. Finding appropriate adoptive homes for teens in foster care before they age out is a priority for the Children’s Bureau, as it can take longer for them to be adopted than younger children.
The theme of this year’s National Adoption Month is “Small Steps Open Doors,” with the goal of giving teens a voice and providing resources for those who support them. Everyone in the lives of teens in foster care can support them during their adoption journey, by listening to them and helping them find ways to achieve their personal and academic goals. To support those who work with teens in foster care, the Children’s Bureau offers a 90-minute webinar that provides useful strategies for building relationships with them, called “Small Steps Open Doors.”
The Children’s Bureau also partnered with AdoptUSKids and the Ad Council to create an ad campaign, called “You can’t imagine the reward,” which highlights the benefits of adopting teens in foster care. They created several public service announcements (PSAs) inspired by real families who adopted teens, including “Sisters,” which is based on Ana, Elian, and their adoptive family’s experience. Watch the PSA below to learn about their experience with adoption.
“Age Out” - To reach the age of majority while in foster care. In Nevada, this is a youth who is either age 18, or older if the youth has elected to remain in foster care until high school graduation or attainment of equivalent education.
“Waiting” - There is no Federal definition for children waiting to be adopted. However, children waiting to be adopted can include children with a goal of adoption and/or whose parental rights have been terminated. The “waiting” population can exclude children whose parents' rights have been terminated and who are 16 years old and older, and have a goal of emancipation
Roose, Kathryn. “Independent Living Program Ages 17 and Over.” Received by All Staff, Division of Child and Family Services, 20 Nov. 2020, https://dcfs.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/dcfsnvgov/content/Policies/CW/0802%20Independent%20Living%20Program%20Ages%2017%20and%20Over%20Final%2011-16-2020.pdf. Accessed 17 Nov. 2022.