I distinctly remember when she said that, in her opinion, the most selfless act anyone could perform is to adopt a child. She was a representative from the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, and an adoptive parent who followed that statement by saying that adoption is also the single most rewarding, momentous, fulfilling action she had taken in her lifetime.
The reason why I remember that statement so clearly is that at the time, it seemed that adoption may have been in my future. After several miscarriages and years of infertility, the terms “surrogacy” and “adoption” were becoming more a part of our daily conversation. Though our last ditch effort resulted in a viable pregnancy, we have several friends who went on to become adoptive parents.
When I was a kid in New York, I recall being so moved by the weekly news reports of Wednesday’s Child. Wednesday’s Child has found inspiration from the belief that, “There are no unwanted children… just unfound families.” The organization brings attention to the need for adoptive homes for children living in foster care. As a parent of tweens, I can’t help but be touched when those weekly segments are still shown on the television here on NBC10 in Philadelphia. If these segments are still airing so many years later, there are still many unfound families.
Here’s the thing. You don’t have to be perfect to be a parent. That is such a relief, because nobody is perfect, nor is anyone the perfect parent. You don’t have to adopt as a last resort, either. Young couples, empty nesters, single and divorced folks are all a great fit for foster care adoption. Too often, people are often intimidated about applying because they don’t realize they would be eligible. Those very people, maybe even you, could make a life-changing difference in the world of a child.
There are currently 402,000 children in the foster care system in the United States of America and nearly 102,000 children (under 18 years of age) waiting for adoption.
Approximately 23% of children and youth actively photolisted on the AdoptUSKids website and waiting for placement in adoptive homes were registered with one or more siblings. Sibling relationships are often the longest-lasting relationships for children in foster care.
In the spirit of giving back and thinking of those less fortunate, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, AdoptUSKids and the Ad Council have unveiled a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) designed to continue to encourage the adoption of children from foster care with an emphasis on the importance of keeping siblings together.
Since the launch of the campaign in 2004, more than 22,000 children who were once photo-listed on the AdoptUSKids website are now with their adoptive families and over 35,000 families have registered to adopt through AdoptUSKids.
Let’s keep the momentum going. For more information about adoption, or about becoming an adoptive parent to a child from foster care, please visit www.AdoptUSKids.org or visit the campaign’s communities on Facebook and Twitter.