Survey: Consideration to Adopt Children in Foster Care Hits Record High

79% of Americans thinking of adopting for the first time consider kids in foster care

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(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – More than 110,000 children are waiting to be adopted from foster care in the United States. Unfortunately, more than 20,000 of them will grow up and leave the foster care system without being adopted, putting them at risk for homelessness and incarceration.

But a new national survey is offering new hope. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption commissioned the survey, which found that, among those looking to adopt for the first time, nearly 80 percent say they would consider adopting children in foster care. That number represents an impressive jump from just five years ago and a continued shift in the attitudes about foster care adoption.

“These children are just like any other child. They’ve simply had a rough start in life,” said Rita Soronen, President and CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption “But they are available for adoption, and they deserve to find a permanent family and a safe home.”

Soronen says the Foundation works to find adoptive families that match each child’s individual needs, especially in cases that can make adoption more challenging, like children with special needs, siblings who would benefit from being adopted together and older children who have been in the foster care system for years.

“We use a child-focused approach that allows caseworkers to really dive into the lives of each child and assess their background, behaviors and challenges,” she said. “This allows them to seek out a family that perfectly fits that child’s unique needs.”


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The Hargis family shares a meal together in Cecilia, Kentucky. Lorie and Dwain Hargis have adopted five children from foster care and never say no when they get a call that a child needs a home.

After their children were grown, Lorie and Dwain Hargis weren’t ready to be empty nesters. They have since adopted five children who were waiting to be adopted from foster care.

Olivia Hargis, 13, spends time with her family in Cecilia, Kentucky. She spent more than seven years in foster care before a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids adoption recruiter with The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption approached Lorie and Dwain Hargis to find her a permanent home and a loving family.

Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption President & CEO Rita Soronen reviews data from a national survey that shows how attitudes toward foster care adoption are changing.

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption commissioned a national survey that found among Americans who have not already adopted, nearly 80 percent have considered foster care adoption, which is a significant increase over the past five years. The Foundation is on a mission to place as many children with loving families as possible and to spread the word that every child is adoptable.

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