Why families for teens? Actually, why not?
What’s more, more than 25% of children waiting for adoption right now are between the ages 13 and 17.
If you’re like most people, when you think about adoption or foster care, the picture in your mind is of an adorable two-year old. In fact, children above the age of ten in foster care are typically “written off” for adoption. And the general assumption is that teenagers don’t need the support and love of family.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Transitioning into adolescence and then into adulthood is one of the most tumultuous times in a person’s life. Just think of yourself at age 14 or 19 – bad hair days or unfriendly classmates could destroy you! And it didn’t automatically stop the second you turned 21, did it?
Research by the Pew Foundation shows that today, more than half of US youth between 18 and 24 years continue to live with their parents and rely on them for both material and emotional support. Yet, the most vulnerable of young adults who are in foster care are expected to survive alone. Why?
Let’s face it. Parenting a teen isn’t easy. But it’s not impossible and the rewards abound. We’ve had single women and men adopt youth, women and men who are in committed relationships, domestic partnerships or neither, parents with zero experience of parenting, parents with disabilities and/or who have children with disabilities, and parents who had planned to adopt a baby and fell in love with a teenager. We welcome all!
Being a parent to a teenager or young adult has the same exact pre-requisite as adopting any child: an unconditional commitment to being a forever family. Once you are ready to make that commitment, we can help you prepare for parenting youth with classes and support groups.
If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about what parenting a foster teen entails, please email or call us.