This week, we are focusing on informing our community on National Adoption Month and how to get involved to make a difference!
Each week in November, we will be highlighting a new national observance for the month, drawing attention to various important causes. Follow along all month long to learn, take action, and spread the word!
November is National Adoption Month! This is an initiative created by the Children’s Bureau that seeks to increase national awareness of adoption issues, bring attention to the need for adoptive families for teens in the U.S. foster care system, and emphasize the value of youth engagement.
Over time, they have effectively focused their efforts on adoption for teens because teens in foster care wait longer for permanency and are at higher risk of aging out than younger children. Teens need love, support, and a sense of belonging that families can provide. Securing lifelong connections for these teens, both legally and emotionally, is a critical component in determining their future achievement, health, and well-being!
The following statistics are extracted from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System about adoption from foster care in the United States in 2019:
- There are over 122,000 children and youth waiting to be adopted who are at risk of aging out of foster care without permanent family connections. (AFCARS report).
- Approximately one in five children in the U.S. foster care system waiting to be adopted are teens.
- Teens, ages 15-18, wait significantly longer for permanency when compared to their peers.
- Only 5% of all children adopted in 2019 were 15-18 years old.
- The risk of homelessness and human trafficking is increased for teenagers in foster care. According to the most recent AFCARS report, of the 122,000 children and youth waiting to be adopted:
- 52% are male
- 48% are female
- 22% are African American
- 22% are Hispanic
- 44% are white
- The average age is eight years old
- 11% are between 15 and 18 years old
- Average time in foster care is 31 months
Connection and belonging are human needs.
Visit the National Adoption Month website to find strategies to help youth find their forever families. All children and teenagers deserve to live a safe and happy life!