Adopting the historically unadoptable can change lives and reverse social trends.
The term “unadoptable” is used to describe foster children who are older, have special medical needs or are historically difficult to adopt based on race or ethnicity. These characteristics have proven to be obstacles to adoption.
It is critical now than ever that loving adoptive homes be found for these kids. Failure to quickly find adoptive homes for more children has long-term implications for society in general, and for state and local governments. Nationally
foster children who turn 18 in the foster system are more likely to become welfare recipients, prison inmates and homeless. Of young adults who left foster care two to four years before age 18, almost half failed to complete high school, about 38 percent had not held a job for more than one year and about 25 percent had been homeless for at least one night.
Texas has an acute issue with older, special needs children. As of 2009, 6,400 children – over one-quarter of all children in Texas’s Conservatorship– had been in foster care for more than three years. As of May 2010, roughly 500 children had been in Texas state custody for more than ten years. In addition Texas failed a 2002 federal audit of its foster care program, and performed worse on certain key measures in a second audit in 2008.
The timing is critically important.
So, how can we help? Texas is in need of two things, loving home willing to foster children even for a short time and loving homes willing to adopt the unadoptable. Here’s a little primer as to the how part of all this. View the contacts for each of the 11 Texas Department of Family and Protective Services regions . You will see a map of Texas with each of the regions outlined. To the right of the map is a list of each region’s contact person. Clicking on the person’s name will start an email to that person (emailing is recommended). That gets a ball rolling.