Adoptive Family Portrait Project

13th Annual Adoptive Family Portrait Project

November 2017 was National Adoption Awareness Month

In November, the Voice for Adoption and the United States gave special attention to adoption. We celebrated adoptive parents. We honored the experiences and resiliency of youth who have been in foster care. We validated the significant challenges that may arise during the adoption journey. We highlighted policies that are sometimes barriers to adoption and/or barriers to meeting the ongoing needs of adopted children. We gave a platform for families to share their experiences and use their voices to be advocates for other children and families. We broght greater awareness to the need for more loving people to provide permanent families to the 112,000 children and youth across the country who are still waiting for the chance to grow up feeling wanted in a stable family. We done all of this to bring more attention to an issue that deserves it. .

Last year, Americans adopted more than 53,000 children and teens from foster care. Some of their stories appear in the following pages. As you read these families’ stories, notice the remarkable journey these parents have taken with their ever-resilient children. These extraordinary families celebrate the healing, growth, and accomplishments their children have made – many of them overcoming significant trauma experienced prior to living with their new families.  

As we celebrate during this month, we at Voice for Adoption remain ever mindful that our work is not finished.  Several families identify missing or insufficient supportive services, mostly in the areas of mental health, respite care, or post-adoption programs. Parents highlight the need for initiatives to educate mental health providers about the intricacies of adoptive family issues, and to encourage more providers to accept Medicaid and offer family-based treatment services. Families also encourage policymakers to provide college support to more children who are adopted from foster care, not just those who are adopted in their teens.

Additionally, we know that more work is still needed, because last year still more than 20,000 youth aged-out of foster care. This leaves youth vulnerable, lonely, and without permanent people in their lives to share their accomplishments.  Importantly, we are making strides toward policy improvements to strengthen opportunities for older youth to find permanency. We commend Congress for these efforts, yet we must continue to work together to accomplish the goal stated by one adopted teen featured in a previous year’s program: “Let’s make ‘aging out’ a term no longer needed in the English language!”

This marks our 13th annual Adoptive Family Portrait Project, highlighting the children and parents who have joined their lives together through adoption.

2017 Adoptive Family Portrait Project Magazine 2017 Adoptive Family Portrait Project Participating Members of Congress

2017 Adoptive Family Portrait Project Participating Families