Adoption Web site Helps 10,000 Foster Children Find Permanent Families
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 16, 2009 Contact: ACF Press Office
HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt today announced more than 10,000 children featured on the AdoptUsKids.org Web site since 2002 have been placed into adoptive families. The AdoptUsKids project is managed through a cooperative agreement with the Children’s Bureau of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The AdoptUsKids.org Web site was launched in 2002 by the President and Mrs. Bush as an Internet adoption service that recruits and connects foster and adoptive families with waiting children throughout the United States. The secure Web site features a national database of photographs and biographies of children in the foster care system available for adoption. The function of the Web site is to let the public know about the children available for adoption.
The AdoptUsKids project also provides information and referral services to prospective adopters and approved families, as well as training and technical assistance to States and Tribes to increase their capacity in providing adoption services to children in foster care and to increase retention and recruitment of foster and adoptive parents.
“The Bush administration has been committed to linking children in the foster care system with loving and caring families,” Secretary Leavitt said. “The AdoptUsKids.org site has been an important tool in increasing adoption opportunities for those foster care children.”
There were 523,000 children in foster care when the Web site was launched in 2002. The number of children in care has been reduced to 496,000 thanks to investments in resources, including the AdoptUsKids Web site and the combined efforts of the federal government in partnership with the states in working together to improve the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and families involved in the child welfare system.
There are 130,000 children in foster care waiting for a family to adopt them. Children of color, sibling groups, and older youth and teens wait longer for adoption and those are the children often featured on the AdoptUsKids Web site. Among the 10,000 children placed in adoptive homes since 2002, nearly half of the children adopted from the Web site were African American. More than 20 percent were siblings who were adopted together and over 200 children were members of sibling groups of four or more children.
“There is a great need to find loving, caring, permanent families for children waiting in foster care,” said Daniel Schneider, HHS acting assistant secretary for children and families. “Through AdoptUsKids, thousands of families have found a child to love and nurture, and 10,000 children have found a home. This exemplifies what’s best about America.”
More than 4,000 children with active profiles and photographs are on the AdoptUsKids Web site.
For more information about AdoptUsKids visit: http://www.adoptuskids.org/.
Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.