Foster Care Childern Find Homes On National Adoption Day
Carney Bethel of Miami smiles as Judge Lynn Rosenthal finalizes Bethel’s adoption of Zion Bethel-Navarro, in her arms, and Zion’s two sisters, Lydia and Violeta.
Bethel previously adopted the children’s other three siblings. Saturdays adoptions
National Adoption Day is a collective effort to raise awareness of the estimated 100,000 children in foster care that are ready for adoption and waiting for a family. Members of the judiciary, attorneys and social service agency professionals from all across the United States worked together to finalize adoptions and celebrate.
It is truly special day when over 4,000 American kids will leave the foster care system, and be welcomed into permanent families.
Foster care adoption: Facts & figures
Every year, more than 100,000 children in foster care are available for adoption. Many spend more than five years waiting for permanent, loving homes. Between 2000 and 2011, nearly 40,000 children were joined together with their forever families as part of National Adoption Day activities.
Who are these waiting children?
- There are an estimated 408,425 children in foster care in the United States, and more than 100,000 of them are waiting to be adopted.
- Through no fault of their own, these children enter foster care as a result of abuse, neglect and/or abandonment.
- The average child waits for an adoptive family for more than three years.
- 11 percent spend 5 years or more waiting for a family (43,083 children).
- The average age of children waiting for an adoptive family is 8.
What happens to them?
- 52,891 children are adopted from foster care.
- Nearly 30,000 children reach the age of 18 without ever finding a forever family.
Who adopts from foster care?
- Children in foster care are adopted by three types of families: former foster parents (53 percent), relatives (32 percent) and non-relatives (15 percent).
- Of the families who adopt children from foster care, 67 percent are married couples, 28 percent are single females, 3 percent are single males, and 2 percent are unmarried couples.
- A national survey in 2007 revealed that 48 million Americans have considered adoption from foster care – more so than any other form of adoption, including private adoption of an infant or international adoption. (National Foster Care Adoption Attitudes Survey, November 2007. Commissioned by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and conducted by Harris Interactive.)
(Unless otherwise indicated, statistics are provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families Administration on Children AFCARS Report; Preliminary FY 2010 Estimates as of June 2011.)
Debunking the myths: Facts about foster care adoption
MYTH: There are not enough loving families available who want to adopt children from foster care.
FACT: A national survey commissioned by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and conducted by Harris Interactive in 2007 reveals that 48 million Americans have considered adoption from foster care – more so than any other form of adoption, including private adoption of an infant or international adoption.
The research indicates that there are many families interested in foster care adoption but that more needs to be done to find ways to connect these families with waiting children. Through National Adoption Day, the Coalition puts a national spotlight on more than 100,000 waiting children in foster care in the hope that more people will take steps to adopt.
MYTH: There’s too much red tape and bureaucracy involved in adopting a child from foster care.
FACT: Congress has streamlined the foster care adoption process through enactment of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997. This law stipulates that children in foster care, who cannot be reunited with their birth parents, are freed for adoption and placed with permanent families as quickly as possible.
MYTH: Adopting a child from foster care is expensive.
FACT: Actually, adopting children from foster care can be virtually free. Many agencies do not charge for the services they provide to families who are adopting a child from foster care. In addition, a growing number of companies and government agencies offer adoption assistance as part of their employee benefits packages, including time off for maternity/paternity leave, financial incentives, and other benefits. Congress has also made federal tax credits available for foster care adoptions to help offset required fees, court costs, and legal and travel expenses. In 2012, the maximum federal tax credit for qualifying expenses was $12,170. These types of benefits enable more families to adopt children from foster care into their homes.
MYTH: Adoptive parents must be a modern version of Ozzie and Harriet.
FACT: Prospective adoptive parents do not have to be rich, married, own a home, or be of a certain race or age to become an adoptive parent (Nearly one-third of adoptions from foster care are by single parents). In fact, families are as diverse as the children who are available for adoption. Patience, a good sense of humor, a love of children and the commitment to be a good parent are the most important characteristics.
To find out more about adopting a child in the United States, please visit nationaladoptionday.org or call 1-800-ASK-DTFA