This year, National Adoption Month focuses on the adoption of older youth currently in foster care—because “We Never Outgrow the Need for Family." This theme calls attention to our nation's population of older youth in foster care who need loving, permanent families. Youth ages 15 to 18 make up 5 percent of the foster care population – 84,778 youth. Creating lifelong connections for these young people is critical in helping them prepare for successful adulthood.
Compared to their peers, many youth in foster care face higher rates of poor outcomes, such as dropping out of high school, unemployment, and homelessness. Despite these challenges, research on positive youth development confirms that children and youth have the ability to overcome traumatic experiences and thrive in adulthood when they are connected to a strong, permanent support system. All youth need a sense of belonging; through adoption, youth are connected to a family who not only provide a sense of stability, but also help them navigate the complicated landscape of their emerging independence. These lasting connections can help youth with important life tasks such as enrolling in higher education, finding stable housing, securing employment, and establishing healthy relationships.
During National Adoption Month, prospective adoptive families can learn more about the needs of older youth and opportunities to positively guide them toward successful outcomes.
Explore this year's National Adoption Month website and the AdoptUSKids website to find resources to help promote and support older youth adoption, specifically:
Explore the History of National Adoption Month
View the We Never Outgrow the Need for Family illustration by AdoptUSKids
Find information for adoption professionals, including recruiting families for older youth
Browse information for prospective adoptive families on adopting older youth from foster care
Hear firsthand stories of youth waiting for adoption
Peruse examples of how agencies and communities can spread the word about National Adoption Month
Read the 2014 Presidential Proclamation for National Adoption Month—2015 coming soon
Read the Children's Bureau Message
Watch the Webinar - National Adoption Month 2015: We Never Outgrow the Need for Family
Photo above from the ImmediateMom.com website: "People always comment on what a “good thing” we did by adopting an older child. What they don’t understand is we are the blessed ones. Sure her life is changed by now having a permanent family, but we’re the lucky ones … what a blessing she is to us."
Fanning Law, LLC Can Help
We assist individuals and families with family law issues and other legal concerns in Southern Maryland, Washington DC, and throughout the region. For more information about how Fanning Law, LLC can help you and your family, contact Bill Fanning at Fanning Law, LLC - The Offices of William C. Fanning, Jr. - 301.934.3620 or at www.fanninglawllc.com.