National campaign launches new PSAs based on real stories that inspire parents to consider adopting teens in foster care

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), AdoptUSKids, and the Ad Council has launched a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) that encourage prospective parents to adopt teens from foster care. The new PSAs, created pro bono by advertising agency Barbarian, are inspired by true stories of teens adopted from foster care to highlight how rewarding of an experience it is for both parents and teens.

“The launch of the new PSAs continues the campaign’s powerful work of sharing true and inspirational stories of teens adopted from foster care,” said Michelle Hillman, Chief Campaign Development Officer of the Ad Council. “Teens in foster care deserve love and support regardless of age and these stories show the impact that families truly have on teens adopted from foster care. It is our hope that this work continues to inspire and inform prospective parents of the lifelong rewards that can come from adopting a teen from foster care.”

Teens (13–18 years of age) comprise 21% of the children/youth waiting to be adopted in the foster care system, but account for only 10% of those adopted. Teenagers in foster care can face a particularly challenging time getting adopted and may wait up to twice as long to achieve permanency than younger children.

“Through the collaboration of our efforts with the Ad Council and the AdoptUSKids project in producing these amazing PSAs, we are able to inspire prospective parents nationwide to see for themselves the impact they can have on the life of a teenager. We know that family, by any definition, is the best resource we have for young people to be loved, feel safe, and given lifelong support. This campaign encourages those considering adoption to take the next step and open up their hearts and homes to teens in foster care”, said Aysha E. Schomburg, Associate Commissioner, Children’s Bureau/ACF/HHS.

Developed pro bono by creative agency Barbarian, the new PSAs build upon the theme that “You Can’t Imagine the Reward” and are based on real experiences of teens adopted from foster care. The heartfelt work highlights the mutual impact both adoptive teens and parents can have on each other. Many prospective parents look forward to the big life moments, such as seeing a child take their first steps or say their first words, but oftentimes don’t think of the rewards that can come with raising a teen. This creative continues to build on previous campaign efforts to showcase how the relationships of adoptive teens and parents grow through steady love, support and understanding and the little moments that strengthen a family’s bond. The work directs audiences to visit Parents can also call 1-888-200-4005 to receive information about the foster care system and the adoption process. Potential foster and adoptive families can also call 1-877-236-7831 for information in Spanish.

“This year, we’ve continued to work with families to share their experience with teen adoption. It’s raw. It’s real. And it continues to inspire,” said Courtney Berry, Managing Director at Barbarian. “These relationships are unlike most. Seeing the family bonds grow slowly over time (and sometimes instantly) is a heartwarming journey few get to encounter. The moments of breakthrough we portray are a testament to the courage, persistence and joy that these families live daily. We’re lucky to get to share them — and we think any parent would be ecstatic to experience the rewards.”

Per the Ad Council’s model, the PSAs will run in time and space donated by the media. The campaign is supported by longtime agency of record Media Kitchen, who is extending the reach of the latest creative by securing donated media placements. Since the initial launch of the campaign in 2004, the campaign has received more than $686 million in donated media support across television, radio, print, out-of-home and digital media.

The campaign’s newest work launches following the release of a six-episode podcast, Navigating Adoption: Presented by AdoptUSKids. This series allows prospective adoptive families to learn about the rewards of adoption through heartfelt interviews with adopted youth, their parents and experts in the field. Episodes cover everything from separation, loss, and trauma to how families can create support networks.

For more information about adoption, or about becoming an adoptive parent to a child or teen from foster care, please visit or visit the AdoptUSKids social communities on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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