November marks National Adoption Month, a time when the nation turns its eyes toward the needs and futures of youths in the foster care system. This year's theme, "Empowering Youth: Finding Points of Connection," underscores the importance of youth-led paths to permanency and the development of supportive networks around these young individuals.
The Significance of National Adoption Month
National Adoption Month is an annual observance that seeks to elevate national awareness about adoption, spotlight the necessity for adoptive families—especially for teens—and emphasize youth engagement in their journey to finding permanent, loving families.
The Broader Impact
This month is a poignant reminder for the broader community to recognize and learn about the profound impacts of adoption. It's a time to acknowledge the efforts of individuals whose lives have been touched by adoption and to champion the facilitators of this life-changing process.
A Global Perspective
The U.S. Department of State also seizes this month to highlight the significance of intercountry adoptions, advocating for every child's right to be part of a loving and permanent family, no matter where they originate from.
A Presidential Emphasis
Underlining the importance of this month, the White House issues proclamations acknowledging that children are vital to our nation's future, emphasizing that each deserves the opportunity to thrive in a safe and loving home.
A Look at the Numbers: The State of Adoption Today
As we advocate for adoption, it's crucial to understand the landscape through statistics from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) Report that illustrate the current state of foster care and adoption in the United States. These numbers not only show the need but also guide our actions as we seek to support and uplift the lives of children and youth in the foster care system.
- Waiting Children: As of the last report in September 2021, there were 114,000 children and youth awaiting adoption. These young individuals face the risk of aging out of foster care without the security and love of permanent family connections.
- Age Matters: The average age of children waiting to be adopted is 7.5 years, and more than 20% of these children are between the ages of 13 and 17, highlighting a specific need for families willing to adopt teenagers who are less likely to be adopted compared to younger children.
- Time in Care: Children wait on average 33.7 months in care before being adopted. After parental rights are terminated, the average wait is 19 months. This duration underscores the urgency to find permanent homes for these children as quickly as possible.
- Racial Disproportionality: Among those waiting, certain racial and ethnic groups are overrepresented compared to their presence in the general child population. For example, Black or African American children represent 14% of the U.S. child population but account for 22% of those waiting to be adopted. Similar disproportions are seen with multi-racial and American Indian/Alaska Native children.
These figures shed light on the realities faced by many children and underscore the importance of National Adoption Month's mission. They serve as a call to action to step up and make a tangible difference in the lives of children and youth in foster care.
Join Victor FFA in Supporting National Adoption Month
Victor FFA has a unique opportunity to engage in National Adoption Month. Join us by:
- Educating & Advocating: Spread awareness about the adoption process and the ongoing need for adoptive families within the local community.
- Supporting Youth Leadership: Embrace programs that empower youth in foster care to take charge of their stories and future.
- Building Connections: Foster mentorships and supportive relationships for youth in foster care.
- Celebrating Stories: Share success stories of adoption within your community to inspire and encourage others.
Becoming a Foster Family Through Victor FFA
For those in the Victor FFA community considering a profound way to make a difference, becoming a resource family for foster care represents an incredible opportunity. Victor is a Foster to Adopt agency and we can help those that are looking to offer permanency to foster children. By opening your homes and hearts, you can provide the stable and nurturing environment that children in foster care deeply need.
Victor FFA can guide you through this life-changing process, offering support and resources to ensure that you're well-prepared for the journey ahead. We collaborate closely with local child welfare services to streamline the process and provide training for prospective foster families.
By becoming a resource family for foster care, you’ll not only enrich the lives of children in need but also embody the values of service and community central to our organization's mission. If you feel the call to foster, we’re here to answer any questions you may have.
Clink below to learn more about how you can become a beacon of hope in a child's life.
As we celebrate National Adoption Month, let’s commit to not only recognizing the importance of adoption but also taking active steps to support these youths' journey towards a permanent home. Victor FFA can play a pivotal role in this endeavor, harnessing the power of community and care to make a lasting difference in the lives of many.