National Adoption Awareness Month is a time to celebrate families growing through adoption, and SAFY of Alabama is working to raise awareness for the more than 123,000 children and youth nationwide who are waiting to be adopted from Foster Care.
While all aspects of the adoption related issues are important, the focus of this month is on adoption of children who are currently in foster care and hoping to be placed in their forever homes.
Each year, more children enter the system than are adopted. The typical child who has been freed for adoption is at least 8 years old, moves three or more times in foster care, may have been separated from siblings, and will wait five years or more to be adopted. Tragically, tens of thousands will never be adopted and will leave the system at age 18 without families.
One in five of the children in foster care are teens, and at risk of aging out with no permanent family (according to ChildWelfare.gov). Older youth – kids ages 15-18 years old – represent only 5 percent of all
adoptions that take place each year.
Why does this matter? Not only because of the grim statistics facing teens who age out of foster care – which include increased risk for homelessness, human trafficking and incarceration, but also because every youth deserves to have a forever family who will be there as a support in navigating all life’s milestones – high school, college, finding a job and learning the life skills needed for an independent, successful adulthood.
All children deserve loving, permanent homes and there is a critical need for people to become involved. For families thinking about adoption there is no doubt a lot to consider, and that’s were programs like SAFY can help. SAFY provides specialized supports for families adopting youth from foster care. When a child is unable to return to their biological family, SAFY walks with them on their journey to a forever family by supporting families looking to adopt through foster care.
To learn more, visit www.SAFY.org