Tucson, AZ (Tucson News Now) - There are currently more than 33,000 teenagers up for adoption from the foster care system in the United States; nearly 50 percent of them fall between the ages of 14 and 16. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families, AdoptUSKids and the Ad Council are launching a new series of Public Service Advertisements that builds upon the successful and engaging "You Don't Have to Be Perfect to Be a Perfect Parent" campaign to encourage the adoption of children from the U.S. foster care system.
We spoke with Dr. Janet Kerin, who adopted three brothers, and she says many of these young people are simply looking for a loving home. "These children are looking for stability. They're looking for love. They're looking for safety. They want someone who will be there with them and to share their life experiences with them and to guide them through life."
Distributing during National Adoption Month, the new PSAs feature teens and their adoptive parents interacting in lighthearted, everyday moments. Data shows that teenagers in foster care wait longer for adoptive homes than younger children. Families who adopt teens are giving these children the support and stability of a family and home during a time when they are dealing with traditional adolescent issues, and have the added stress that comes from separation from their families and uncertainty about their future.
The PSAs highlight that even if you are not 'perfect,' you have the ability to provide the stability and security that teens in foster care need and deserve. Oftentimes, teens are over-represented in foster care because potential parents may not think they have what it takes to care for an older child. The new PSAs show that all parents make mistakes and being a good adoptive parent for teens does not require perfection. Rather, it requires the very traits that many potential parents may not even know they already possess: time, stability, maturity, commitment, flexibility, compassion, a sense of humor, patience, a team player attitude and an overall love of children.
For more information on how you can help this growing problem, call 888-200-4005. Spanish speakers can call for information at 877-236-7831. Click on this link to AdoptUSKids www.adoptuskids.org for more information specifically for people living in Arizona.
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