November is a month of giving thanks for family, a loving home and a network of support and stability. Just as much as turkey and stuffing, cranberry sauce and pie, many children and parents eagerly await the joyful shout of: “Hi Mom. Hi Dad. I’m home!”
This simple phrase is one that hundreds of children awaiting parents yearn to say. And while some older children, sibling groups and kids with special needs may be successfully adopted, many more will not. We should keep this in mind during November, which is National Adoption Month, and throughout the holiday season and beyond.
Children Awaiting Parents, a nonprofit that has advocated on behalf of older foster care children for 45 years, launched the Donald J. Corbett Adoption Agency in October to expedite and support the successful, seamless adoption of older children into loving homes. By helping families prepare for adoption, navigate its complexities and find the best match in an older foster care child, our new agency enhances CAP’s critical services to transition older children into a “forever family” before they age out of the foster care system.
Children who “age out” of foster care without at least one permanent parent frequently end up homeless, imprisoned or lost. A 2011 Brookings report finds children in long-term foster care are disproportionately represented among those who create disciplinary problems in schools, drop out of high school, become unemployed and homeless, bear children as unmarried teenagers, abuse drugs and alcohol and commit crimes.
But adoption steers children toward success by fulfilling core emotional needs and providing stable foundations.
For more information, visit, call (585) 232-5110 or stop by The Strong/National Museum of Play to see The Heart Gallery.
Charles Reaves is executive director, Children Awaiting Parents; Barbara Baer is chairwoman, CAP board of directors; and Sandra L. Frankel is CAP/Corbett Agency fundraising chairwoman.