Posted on February 1st, 2010 No comments
The New York Times featured an article this weekend about programs that aim to place older, hard-to-adopt children in adoptive placements. The article features an agency in St. Louis that hires a former police detective to track down long-lost relatives of teenagers languishing in foster care. The idea is to look for suitable relatives that would be willing to serve as adoptive caregivers for children. In many cases the relatives of parents that abuse and neglect their children and consequently have their parental rights terminated may not know where the children are, or even that they exist. The agency finds that, “lost relatives are a largely untapped resource for adoption.” The St. Louis agency is funded by a grant from Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, created by the founder of the fast food chain.
The article also acknowledges a nonprofit in Washington State that uses computer databases to locate relatives of children in foster care.
The article addresses the hardships faced by older children in foster care, who are typically some of the most difficult to find adoptive placements. These children face rejection and disappointments from being bounced around to different foster homes, the isolation and loneliness of living in a group home and a number of other difficulties. All of these can make it difficult to transition into a permanent adoptive home.
In Michigan, agencies such as Bethany Christian Services and Spaulding for children, who receives grants from the Dave Thomas Foundation, work to place older and special needs children in adoptive homes.
It is nice to see this issue getting some attention. You can read the New York Times Article here: A Determined Quest to Bring Adoptive Ties to Foster Teenagers.