New York currently has approximately twenty-five hundred children waiting to be adopted. Two years ago a federal lawsuit was filed in the state on behalf of 19 children who were mistreated in foster care. The state’s child welfare system is in serious need of help.

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is donating $7.5 million to the Administration for Children Services in New York to increase the number of city adoption recruiters from two to forty-three. They are expanding the initiative to place older children and those with special needs from foster care into permanent homes. The foundation’s model for helping those children succeed is being shared with 900 case managers at social services.

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Grants is an organization that gives money to public and private adoption agencies. The grants target the hiring of additional recruiters to help older children. Kids are three times more likely to be adopted after working with a recruiter.

The main goal of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is to find a family for every single child in foster care before they turn eighteen. The foundation raises funds for awareness and education, and provides adoptive parents with free resources. It works to tear down myths about adoption and emphasize the realities, such as:

  • Foster care adoption costs little or nothing.
  • Once a parent’s rights are terminated, there is no way for them to take the child back.
  • Foster children are victims of their circumstances, not trouble makers.
  • Single parents, same-sex couples, and seniors make great adoptive parents.

Upon the urging of President George H.W. Bush in 1990, Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s, spoke publicly about his passion for foster care adoption. He led a public service campaign and inspired business owners to offer adoption benefits. In 1992, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption was born. He used his voice to support adoption tax credits and adoption legislation. On his mission to find forever homes for all foster children, he lit the torch and his foundation carries it in his absence.