Greg Eubanks, Holt’s VP for U.S. foster care and adoption, shares how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting foster families and children this National Foster Care Awareness Month — and why we urgently need new families to say ‘yes’ to fostering.
Children in our U.S. foster care and adoption system are in crisis — sleeping in hotel rooms and repurposed jails for a lack of somewhere to go. They need individuals and families to stand up, and say “yes.”
In our Seattle area office each day, we receive multiple emails from the State of Washington that briefly describe children who need a place to go. For multiple reasons, some need a placement for only a few days, other need a long-term foster family, and others need an adoptive family. These emails overwhelm me with the sheer volume of need.
One recent Friday, I opened one email to find 57 children listed. We received eight more emails that same day, just like this one. They come every day. Every. Day.
Denise Russell, Holt’s child advocacy coordinator in the Seattle area, works with youth in foster care every day. And each child is so special to her. But one child, Kyle, especially touched her heart and reminded her of the urgency to find families for children in the U.S.
I love meeting and interviewing the fostered children we feature on “A Family For Me.” They are never who I expect them to be. Reading their profiles helps me envision their personalities and seeing their beautiful photos gives me a glimmer of their essence. But no amount of research has completely prepared me for meeting these young people and hearing what they have to say.
Over the past eight years, our partnership with KING5 News in Seattle has allowed us to feature over 170 foster care youth who are waiting for permanent, loving families through adoption. And yet, I’m confident I can still tell you something unique about every single child I’ve ever interviewed. One way or another, they either did something unexpected, said something incredibly profound, made me laugh, wore me out, left me speechless, generated a tear, and/or taught me something new.
Once you start to consider adoption, it’s important to look into the other decisions that you’ll need to think about. Below, we listed the top five decisions you’ll need to make early on in the adoption process, as well as some useful information to help you make them!
Decide what age, gender and special needs you’re open to.
Deciding on the profile of child you’re open to is one significant decision that every family has to make. If you’re looking into international adoption, the profile of child can vary. On average, most children adopted internationally are between the ages of 2 to 3 years old when they arrive home. But many older children urgently need families, and if you’re open to an older child, your process could move quicker.
UPDATE: The deadline for the “Dear Colleague” letter has passed, but we will continue to provide updates on this legislation. Thank you for being an advocate for children in U.S. foster care, as every child deserves a loving and secure home.
As we work to ensure every child has a loving and secure home, advocacy has remained a cornerstone of Holt’s work. To that end, we regularly support legislation that aims to improve child welfare standards, strengthen the rights of adoptees, and clears the path for more children to join permanent, loving families through adoption in the U.S. and abroad. Together, we can work toward a world where no child is left without a family.
This week, you can join Holt and help advocate for children in U.S. foster care who are waiting for permanent, loving families through adoption.
As “Instant Family” hit the big screen, there’s been a lot of buzz in the adoption community — is this an accurate view of adopting from foster care? What do adoptees, kids in foster care, adoptive parents, adoption social workers and birth parents think about it? There are many roles to take into account, and we’ve enjoyed the conversation about it! Caitlin Howe, our adoptee programs coordinator, along with her brother — formerly in the foster care system — both watched the movie and wanted to share their thoughts.Continue reading “Instant Family: A Review From Foster Siblings”