There are currently nearly 400,000 children and youth in foster care in the United States. Of those, more than 25% are “adoptable.” This means that over 100,000 children in America have no parents, no home, no permanency. These children have done nothing to cause this situation. They are deserving of, and very hopeful that they may be blessed with, loving parents and a safe, permanent home. Of those children in foster care who are adoptable, over 30% will have to wait at least 3 years before being adopted. And many will never be adopted, but will age out of foster care, being required to figure out how to live on their own.
Of those who age out of foster care, 25% do not graduate from high school, 40% become homeless, 60% of males are convicted of some sort of crime, 50% of all who age out are involved with substance abuse, and most end up receiving some sort of government assistance to meet their basic needs. The statistics are not great. Clearly, finding homes for foster children and youth is an important component of addressing some core social problems.
There are not enough foster homes in the United States to adequately provide for these children in need. There are currently about 60,000 children who are in foster care but not living in traditional foster homes. Because of the lack of homes, these children and youth are in group homes or institutions. That is not a good situation for the development, growth and security of our children.
Those who consider providing foster care, or who are interested in adopting through foster care are encouraged to pursue that desire. There are good children who would welcome loving parents.