This man entered foster care at the age of 15. My biological parents had their rights terminated my senior year of high school. The permanency plan the state created for me was for me to age out of the system and be thrusted into the “real world” at the age of 18.
If we want to discuss adoption from foster care, we need to talk about the kids that weren’t adopted.
* 5% of kids adopted from foster care are between the ages or 15-18
* 20% become homeless the day they age out of the system
* 60%-90% of victims rescued from human trafficking spent time in foster care
The reality is that 23,000 youth will age out of foster care this year alone. I know personally how hard it is to navigate life after foster care and I don’t want other youth to age out of care and have this be their reality.
When considering adoption, please keep these youth, not babies 0-3 years old, in mind.
One woman in my all things adoption group wrote – I’m one of those former foster youths in the system from age 5 to age 16, I aged out and was homeless upon emancipation, never got adopted, only had a failed reunification with my mom in my teens.
Another added this reality – I hate seeing comments from foster parents saying if reunification didn’t happen then kids could be adopted as young children instead of staying in the system as older children. Many older kids come into care as older kids. The reason why older kids stay years in foster care is because most people don’t want older children. They want 0-3, infants, or under 5. She adds – My foster daughter’s permanency plan was defined as another planned permanent living arrangement (APPLA) at 13. The system tossed her aside.
Yet another former foster youth writes – Came into foster care as an almost teen/teen, in 24 foster homes, and nobody but one wanted me. It’s crazy how you can get a teen easily in seconds but people would rather avoid teens and wait years for the kid they really want. I just wish we can be honest. This might hurt to say but all I hear are excuses. Just be honest and say you don’t care about teens in foster care. We’re passed along and pushed aside by everyone. It hurts but you get use to it.