New public service advertisements (PSAs) launched today by the Children’s Bureau at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in partnership with the Ad Council, AdoptUSKids and KBS, highlight the importance of adopting teens from foster care and emphasize that adoptive and potential adoptive parents do not have to be a perfect parent in order to adopt youth from foster care.
Older children in foster care, particularly teenagers, have a hard time being adopted from foster care. Of the estimated 428,000 youth in the U.S. foster care system, 112,000 youth are currently waiting for adoptive families.
“All of us – and that includes teens in foster care who are waiting to be adopted – need and want families to support us and to give us the connections, relationships, and sense of belonging that are so critical to our well-being,” said Jerry Milner, associate commissioner at the Children’s Bureau, and the acting commissioner for the Administration on Children, Youth and Families.
The campaign currently highlights the need for families for teens. Of the 428,000 youths under the age of 18 in the U.S. foster care system,112,000 are currently waiting for adoptive families. 43% of all children available for adoption on AdoptUSKids.org are 15 to 18 years old, yet only 5% of all children adopted in 2015 were between the ages of 15 to 18.
Using humorous angle to communicate the seemingly challenging task of adopting a teen from foster care, this award-winning campaign reassures prospective parents that even if they are not “perfect,” they can provide the love and stability that older youth in foster care need and deserve. The latest PSAs parody the iconic pregnancy guide, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, to feature scenarios of well-intentioned parents attempting to offer step-by-step parenting tutorials for new parents of teens (teen-proofing a home, waking up a teen, etc.).
“The parents and families who adopt older teens from foster care enrich their own lives while providing an incredible impact on the lives of the adopted children and teens at a time when it is needed most,” said Milner. “We are proud to sponsor the Adoption from Foster Care campaign to encourage adoptions of teens nationwide.”
These lighthearted and charming PSAs reassure potential parents that teens in foster care don’t need perfection; they need the love and commitment a permanent family can provide.The PSAs direct audiences to visit AdoptUSKids.org, call 1-888-200-4005 (English), or 1-877-236-7831 (Spanish) to learn more the adoption process.