Is there room … to find points of connection?
November 2023 · Adoption, Forward in Hope
November is National Adoption Month, and nationwide about 114,000 children and youth wait to be adopted. For us, it presents an opportunity to raise awareness of adoption issues, acknowledge the need for adoptive families for teens in the U.S. foster care system, and emphasize the importance of youth engagement. All these are represented through this year’s theme – “Empowering Youth: Finding Points of Connection.”
According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, “we continue to focus our efforts on adoption for teens because we know that teens in foster care wait longer for permanency and are at higher risk of aging out than younger children. Securing lifelong connections for these teens, both legally and emotionally, is a critical component in determining their future achievement, health, and well-being.”
The theme points to the need to provide opportunities and services that connect youth to their backgrounds to support meaningful lasting relationships. When youth are connected to their roots, they can learn to write their own story. Yet it’s hard for these relationships to manifest when teens are separated from their birth families. Without access to or knowledge of their history, many teens may leave foster care disconnected from their cultural roots and wondering how to define themselves. This year’s National Adoption Month seeks to include the voice of youth in their own adoption decision and empower them to chart a course for their lives. You can help.
Saint Francis Ministries’ “Fostering in Faith” program regularly features teens patiently waiting for a forever family. Unfortunately, more often than not, teens are overlooked by potential adoptive parents because of their age. They need families attuned to their cultural roots who can help them answer the question, “Who am I?” Right now, teens in our care in Kansas, Texas, and Nebraska need a family. Saint Francis can connect you with a young person who needs you and would benefit from family with similar roots.
Is there room in your life to help raise awareness about adoption? Is there room in your life to become a “forever family” to a child who needs one? If so, visit the Saint Francis Ministries’ Adoption Page to get started.