Are you or a family you know thinking about adoption? Consider adopting an older child or teen!
We never outgrow the need for family, and everyone deserves to know that they belong. In the United States, there are 102,000 children and youth in the foster care system waiting to be adopted. These children cannot be safely reunited with their birth families due to abuse, neglect or other family challenges and they have no viable resource to provide a lifetime of care for them.
Older youth and teenagers are in great need of being matched with an adoptive family. If you or someone you know has thought about adopting from foster care, consider these benefits of adopting an older child or youth:
More information is available
Adoptive families can better understand and respond to a child’s needs from knowing their background information. Child welfare agencies have records on placement, trauma, developmental, educational, mental health and social history. Training and resources are also available to help parents set realistic expectations of their adopted child.
Older children are more aware and involved
Unlike young children, most youth can understand why they are in foster care and why they cannot be safely reunited with their birth family. Older children also have a say in their adoption, and almost every state requires that youth provide consent to be adopted. As they grow and think about their future, youth understand the importance of having the safety, love and stability that a permanent home can provide.
You can guide a youth as they transition into adulthood
Each year, nearly 30,000 young adults “age out” of the foster care system without a permanent family or home. Without support, they are at high risk of becoming homeless, unemployed, incarcerated, victimized, unexpectedly pregnant, and on welfare. By adopting an older child from foster care, you provide the skills and guidance they need to become independent, successful adults and grow to meet their full potential.
Older children should not be denied the right to a family for their entire life. We need caring, loving families to make a commitment to these children for a lifetime. YOU could be the difference in a child’s life to help them overcome a difficult childhood and develop into a successful, thriving adult.
Learn more about adopting from foster care, search profiles of children available for adoption through KVC, or search nationwide through Adopt U.S. Kids.