“You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent.” November is National Adoption Month! There are many options of becoming a family, adoption being one of them. In fact, one in five U.S. adults has considered adoption at some point in their lives. There are many forms of adoption, from international adoption, kinship adoption (adoption by a family member), and adoption from foster care. Adoption from foster care is one of the highest categories of adoptions each year. The need is great, as over 100,000 youth are in foster care eligible for adoption into a forever home. Even though many have considered adoption for their family, many feel they are not eligible to be adoptive parents.
Adoptive families come in all shapes and sizes from, single, married, same sex, older adults, military family-good parents are all that matter! Characteristics needed to be a good foster or adoptive parent include, being stable, mature, dependable, and flexible; having the ability to advocate for children; and being a team player with your family or child welfare worker.
Once taking the step into adoption the reward can be great. Children are incredibly resilient. One of the most important factors for resilience is a consistent caring adult in the child’s life. No matter what baggage, trauma, hardship a child has been through, in a stable, caring, nurturing environment children are more likely to thrive.
Many employers provide adoption assistance as well as being deemed Adoption Friendly Workplaces. Check with your employer to see what assistance may be available. There are many resources online for those thinking about fostering or adopting. For local information in Ohio contact your county Department of Jobs and Family Services. Outside of Ohio contact your local Human Services department. For more information check out these resources:
Adopt US Kids http://www.adoptuskids.org/
Child Welfare Information Gateway https://www.childwelfare.gov/
Administration for Children and Families http://www.acf.hhs.gov/
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption https://davethomasfoundation.org/
National Adoption Day http://www.nationaladoptionday.org/adoption-resources/