Bob was a 17-year-old in foster care when he began wondering if he was too old to be adopted. After all, adopting a teen is less common than adopting a younger child, and thousands of youth across the U.S. “age out” of foster care each year without a permanent family or home.
Thankfully, aging out of foster care wasn’t Bob’s fate. A mother named Keira Jones happened to see a video about Bob one day, highlighting his warm personality and his need for a loving adoptive family. She messaged her husband Jerry Gross, who agreed with her that they could meet the needs — and even some of the wants — that Bob expressed in his video. They contacted child welfare agency KVC Kansas the next day, and several months later, Keira, Jerry and their family adopted Bob. Read the full inspiring story, “You’re Never Too Old to Be Adopted,” here.
There are many more teens like Bob in foster care. Specifically, there are 123,000 U.S. children and teens waiting to be adopted. Of the more than 5,000 children in foster care actively photolisted on AdoptUSKids.org, 42 percent are 15–18 years old.
For this reason, AdoptUSKids chose to focus its 15th National Adoption Recruitment Campaign on the rewards of adopting a teen. The national ad campaign – a partnership of AdoptUSKids, the Children’s Bureau, and the Ad Council – includes videos and ads that showcase the many moments that make adopting a teen rewarding and highlights the stories of families who have adopted from foster care. Each public service announcement ends with: “You can’t imagine the reward. Thousands of teens in foster care are ready to make an impact on your life,” reminding prospective parents that teens in foster care can help them grow in unexpected ways.
Check out one of the moving videos in which a teen boy begins to realize he is at home:
Here’s another one of the powerful videos AdoptUsKids created. This one, Real Rewards, features real adoptive families talking about the love and other real rewards they experienced from adopting a teen:
You May Be the Person a Teen Is Waiting & Hoping For
Have you ever considered helping a local child or teen in crisis? By becoming a foster or adoptive parent, you can help a young person who has experienced child abuse, neglect or other family challenges. You can change a child’s life forever, whether you choose the path of temporary foster care aimed at a safe family reunification or choose to care for a teen who is specifically waiting to be adopted. Both paths begin here – learn about becoming a foster or adoptive parent.
People from all kinds of life situations can foster or adopt a child. Whether you are single or married, own or rent your home, have children already or don’t, work full-time or stay home, you may qualify!
At KVC, we guide you every step of the way by providing:
- Free foster/adoptive parent training and ongoing support available 24/7
- A sense of community with other foster parents who share your passion
- Assistance finding local resources
- A fun weekend away at our Resource Family Conference, which provides a fantastic learning experience for parents and children
- And of course, monthly reimbursement to meet the child’s needs plus assistance with back-to-school supplies and holiday gifts.
Meet a Few Teens We Are Serving
Our local KVC community teams are honored to play a role in matching children with loving adoptive families in Kansas, Nebraska, Kentucky and West Virginia. Due to our role as a lead foster care agency in Kansas, we’re able to share photos and videos of Kansas children on our KVC Adoption site here. Meet a few of the teens for whom we’re searching for the right adoptive family:
Lynn, age 16, is a caring young man with a great sense of humor. He enjoys playing football and basketball. In school, he likes P.E. along with breakfast and lunch time. He says he either wants to be a police officer or join the army when he gets older. Lynn makes a great effort in many things he tries. A family that will support him as he strives to complete his goals would be beneficial for him. Learn more and see his video here.
Lexi, age 13, is an energetic and happy child who reports she is good at cheering people up. Lexi enjoys reading and drawing in her free time, as well as listening to music. In school her favorite classes are science and PE; she enjoy getting to do projects and run off energy. When she grows up Lexi desires to be a librarian or an editor/publisher. Learn more and see her video here.
Brothers Austin and Jacob, ages 15 and 14, need a patient family who can provide them with affection and structure. Older brother Austin is a loving and affectionate child. He is eager to learn and please others. He enjoys going swimming and playing ball. Younger brother Jacob also likes to play ball. He really enjoys reading and learning about new things. Learn more and see their video here.
To see children near you who need adoptive families, visit www.AdoptUSKids.org.
Learn More About KVC Health Systems
KVC Health Systems is a private, nonprofit organization working to create a world in which every person is safe and connected to a strong family and a healthy community. Our more than 1,500 team members provide in-home family support, foster care, adoption, behavioral healthcare, and children’s psychiatric treatment from 35 locations in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Kentucky and West Virginia. While our child welfare focus is on strengthening families and safely preventing the need for foster care, we have matched over 5,300 children in need of homes with loving adoptive families. Learn more here.