November is National Adoption Month #NAM15 #perfectparent

November is National Adoption Month, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, AdoptUSKids, and the Ad Council are spreading the word about and encouraging prospective parents to adopt older youth from foster care.

The theme for National Adoption Month is, “We Never Outgrow the Need for Family.” That’s because older children and youth still have many big milestones in their life they need a family for.

There are 415,000 children in the U.S. foster care system and 108,000 are waiting to be adopted. AdoptUSKids’ maintains a national photo listing service for children waiting to be adopted. Since the project launched in 2002, more than 25,000 children who were once photo listed on adoptuskids.org have been adopted and nearly 38,000 families have registered to adopt through the website.  Nevertheless, older youth are disproportionately represented – approximately 41 percent of children and youth photo listed on adoptuskids.org are between 15 and 18 years old, but only 17 percent of those adopted have been in this age group

Older youth and teens have lower adoption rates than younger children, and they often wait longer to be adopted. But no matter their age, all kids need a supportive, loving home and the teenage years are a critical period for growth. The new TV PSAs, which were created for the campaign probono, portray a dad giving advice to his teenage daughter after her first breakup, and a mom giving her son a haircut at home. The humorous, lighthearted scenarios aim to overcome fears adoptive parents may have regarding their own imperfections. The PSAs end with the tagline, “You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent,” reassuring prospective parents that even if they are not ‘perfect’, they have the ability to provide the stability and security that older youth in foster care need and deserve.

The PSAs direct audiences to visit adoptuskids.org or to call 1-888-200-4005 (English) or 1-877-236-7831 (Spanish) to receive the latest information about the foster care system and the adoption process.
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Support the Polaris Project and Help End Human Trafficking

Have you heard of the Polaris Project?  They are an organization dedicated to helping those who are victims of human trafficking, and helping prevent others from being trafficked.  This month, they are asking you to become a North Star Guide. People just like you can be a guiding light for survivors of human trafficking by making a simple commitment to donate $25 every month.

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Picture via the Polaris Project

By becoming a North Star Guide, you join dedicated supporters like Sara:

I support Polaris Project with a monthly donation for many reasons… Whenever I call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center for materials or questions about human trafficking in the U.S., knowledgeable Polaris staffers are always there to help me out.” Sara Cochran

If you’re like Sara and value our work, but don’t know how to show it, here’s your answer: become a North Star Guide. By giving monthly, you’ll be joining a community that provides stable support for our relentless efforts to restore freedom and stop traffickers from preying on vulnerable people. You’ll also be helping survivors like Isabel.
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