Kids Need Families

October 16, 2019

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Kids-Need-Families-National-Adoption-MonthNext month our country will observe National Adoption Awareness Month which was created specifically to encourage the adoption of children languishing in foster care. How can we support this important mission? Ensure that any posts, messages, etc. that you share keep the focus on foster kids. Resist the need to celebrate any adoption-related stories that dilute this focus.  (Share those kinds of messages during the other eleven months of the year.)

While we acknowledge the need for a safe, loving, permanent family for these kids, it is tragic that these children cannot be reunited with their first families. These two realities coexist.

During the next two weeks, spend time thinking about your own family and how it has been shaped by adoption. Consider the ways in which you reassure your kids that adoption is a safe and open subject. Prepare them for the media blitz and mention that you wonder how they feel when they see and hear such messages.

Discuss how you feel when people mention adoption— especially when they speak in an uninformed our hurtful way— and share some of your strategies for coping with your own complex emotions. (Obviously, discuss in age-appropriate ways.) Possible threads to follow include:

Friends or family, etc., and how to educate them about adoption

Disparaging remarks about adoptees or birth parents

Conversations that lack an understanding of adoption complexity

Here’s what the Child Welfare Information Gateway reports:


Key Facts and Statistics

  1. There are over 123,000 children and youth waiting to be adopted who are at risk of aging out of foster
    care without permanent family connections. (AFCARS report)
  2. Approximately one in five children in the U.S. foster care system waiting to be adopted are teens.
  3. Only 5 percent of all children adopted in 2017 were 15 - 18 years old.
  4. The risk of homelessness and human trafficking is increased for teenagers in foster care.
  5. According to the most recent AFCARS report, of the 123,000 children and youth waiting to be adopted:
    • 52 percent are male
    • 48 percent are female
    • 22 percent are African American
    • 22 percent are Hispanic
    • 44 percent are white
    • The average age is eight years old
    • 11 percent are between 15 and 17 years old
    • Average time in foster care is 31 months


Learn how the coaches at GIFT Family Services can help you and your family navigate your adoption journey. We've faced our share of family challenges and crises, ridden the metaphorical rollercoaster, and our families have not only survived; they have thrived. We offer experience, neutrality, and understanding.


Listen to our podcasts on Adoption-attuned Parenting.






Read Adoption-attuned book reviews 

by GIFT coach, Gayle H. Swift,

on her blog "Writing to Connect"

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