Did you know around 7 million Americans in the United States are adopted? People choose to adopt for a variety of reasons, including completing their existing family, wanting to give a foster child a forever family or not being able to have biological children of their own. There are many things to consider when deciding whether or not to adopt and there are different ways to adopt a child in need, including fostering to adopt. In honor of National Adoption Awareness Month, learn more about the adoption process and how to get started on this rewarding journey.
While more than one-third of Americans have considered adoption, only two percent have actually adopted a child. Currently, there are over 400,000 children in foster care in the United States. Another 135,000 children are adopted each year in the United States. Of those children in foster care, 60 percent spend two to five years in the system before becoming adopted, and some children in foster care never find their forever family. When children “age out” of foster care at the age of 19, many become homeless, incarcerated or turn to alcohol or drugs as a way to cope. Additionally, among those in the child welfare system:
- Males far outnumber females
- African American children are disproportionately represented
- Over half are six years or older
- The average age of a child waiting for adoption is eight years old
- 29 percent of adopted children will spend at least three years in the foster care system
- Over 50,000 foster children are adopted each year
The statistics can seem daunting, but there is a trend in a positive direction. For the past several years, fewer children have entered into foster care than the year prior. And with services like foster to adopt, this means more opportunities for foster children to embark on the path to adoption. Fostering allows some parents to take care of their prospective children while making their way through the adoption process.
Fostering to Adopt
Not every family begins the same way. In a private adoption, 62 percent of adopted children are placed with their adoptive families within a month of their birth. But many children enter the child welfare system later in life, and are just as deserving of a forever home. One way these children find permanent homes is through foster to adopt. When a child cannot safely return home to their biological family, this bridges their journey from foster care to permanent placement with their adoptive family. Often, children who become available for adoption while in foster care are eventually adopted by a relative or by their foster parents. These agents of hope give children a solid foundation for a bright and hopeful future ahead. Take our 30 second assessment to see if becoming an agent of hope is right for you.
SAFY Offers Post-Adoption Services in Indiana
The journey toward adoption, like any journey in life, is seldom without some bumps in the road. That’s why SAFY’s post adoption services in Indiana help families weather the storms of behavioral and emotional challenges that families can experience and create lasting support for healthy and stable family relationships. Our post adoption services in Indiana include:
- Case coordination services
- Behavioral health services
- Trainings and special events
- Respite care
- Support groups
Be the Difference in a Child’s Life
A forever family is the happy ending every child deserves. If you long to be the agent of hope that secures a child’s future, consider becoming a foster or adoptive parent. Contact us to learn more about becoming a foster to adopt parent and our post adoption services or consider donating to SAFY to join the Agent of Hope Movement.