By Alexandra Temblador
May is National Foster Care Month, a month that reminds us that 102,000 children from less than a year old to 21 years of age are in the foster care system and are waiting to be adopted by a loving family. This month asks families to make a change in a child’s life and to reduce the number of children who age-out of foster care from 20,000 a year to zero.
The foster care system is supposed to be a temporary situation for children who are unable to be taken care of by their biological parents. The foster care system’s goal is to try to reconnect children to their birth parents if it is possible or in the best interests of the child. However, sometimes it is determined that adoption would be better. Yet, despite the goal of the foster care system, too many children are waiting to be placed in healthy, positive, and loving homes which makes National Foster Care Month so important.
FosterMore is a nonprofit organization that is raising awareness about America’s foster care system and encouraging families to see the potential of these children awaiting great families. In honor of Foster Care Month, they have just released a new PSA that includes One Direction’s song, “Story of My Life” and the voice of Ty Burrell, the actor who plays Phil on Modern Family and has two adoptive daughters of his own.
FosterMore’s dedication to children in the foster care system goes well beyond Foster Care Month because they understand the impact that the foster care system and adoption can have on a child’s life. There were over 640,000 children who went through the foster care system in 2013 alone. On average, a child in the foster care system can spend two years without finding a home. Even worse, for children who age-out, or those who are not adopted by the time they become an adult, they are more likely to suffer from homelessness, unemployment, and incarceration than other children.
For those children who are adopted out of the foster care system, they have the opportunity to do and achieve amazing things in life with a supportive family. Stars like Eddie Murphy, Ice T, Steve Jobs, Kristen Chenoweth, Sarah McLachlan, Faith Hill, Colin Kaepernick, Alonzo Harding Morning, and Wendy’s CEO and founder, Dave Thomas were all at one time children in the foster care system. After their adoptions, they grew up in families that supported their dreams and went on to achieve undeniable success.
For families who would love to be an influential person in a child’s life and would like to consider adoption from the U.S. foster care system, know that you are not limited from being a foster parent or an adoptive parent based off your income, whether you rent or own your home, your sexual orientation, disability, age, or even marital status. Organizations such as FosterMore, the National Adoption Center, AdoptUSKids, and Child Welfare Information Gateway can provide information and assistance on adopting children from the United States foster care system.
Remember this is National Foster Care Month, so spread the word to your friends, share this article or FosterMore’s PSA video, or volunteer your time to be a mentor or a foster parent to a child in the foster care system. More awareness could mean that more foster children find safe, nurturing homes that will allow them to grow into wonderful, successful individuals in our communities.
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