Why Would A Family Adopt An 18 Year Old? Ask This Former Foster Child

“It was just awesome to be wanted.”

Meghan Rivard July 18, 2017
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“It was just awesome to be wanted.” That is the statement of Carson Petersen after being adopted by the Petersen family at 18 years old. Carson grew up in foster care, and as many children in foster care, was moved around to many homes. Adult adoption from foster care does not happen very often, but in California, where Carson resided, the state law allows someone to remain in foster care up to age 21, versus the age of 18 in most states, as long as they are doing something productive, such as school, work, or therapy.

Carson was in foster care with the Petersen family prior to his adoption for about three years. It was supposed to be a short term placement but Carson asked to stay and the family wanted him to stay. The family then wanted to adopt him and officially make him a member of the family.

But coming to this decision was not easy; there were many ups and downs. Carson stated, “I would always have this wall built up so no one could hurt me. I didn’t like talking to new people, and I used to smoke and drink.”

The Petersen family now has Carson, Hunter (18), Kaylynn (4), and Joshua (2). Hunter and Carson have an especially close relationship and even got tattoos together with the date Carson joined the Petersen family. Hunter stated, “Now I’ve got that guy who’s always going to be there and I’m always going to be there for him.”

Carson’s life has really improved since joining the Petersen family and he said, “It was just awesome to be wanted.” He is doing well in school, working part-time, and playing football, and he wants to become a firefighter.

Tex Petersen, Carson’s father, states perfectly what Carson experienced, along with many children in the foster care system. He said “I’d tell him that he was worth it. That’s the biggest thing… He felt like he wasn’t worth anything, so why try to strive?”

Click here to watch the video.

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Meghan Rivard

Meghan is an adoptive mother and a big advocate of adoption and foster care. She resides in Indiana with her husband, their one-year-old daughter who is the center of their lives, and their dog Max. She has a Bachelor's and Master’s Degree in Social Work. Meghan stays at home with her daughter but is so happy she found this outlet to share her personal adoption story and educate about adoption!

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