Let's open the channel of communication with youth this National Adoption Month

Older youth and sibling groups are much less likely to be adopted than younger children. Older youth can be reluctant to pursue adoption, often because of their trauma, their conflicting loyalties to family and caregivers, and because of a fear of lost identity. Instead, many decide to prepare themselves for independent living. These youth, however, still want the long-term stability they feel a family will bring, and studies have shown that a close relationship with a caring adult is key to improving opportunities for success.  

That is why this year, during National Adoption Month, the U.S. Children's Bureau is shining a spotlight on the thousands of teenagers and young adults in foster care who need unconditional love, commitment, and support from a family. Through open communication with youth, we can begin to address the barriers to achieving permanency and create opportunities to match each of them with the right family.   

The 2021 theme, "Every Conversation Matters," highlights the importance of including young people in these conversations. By engaging young people in all aspects of daily child welfare, we can provide them with more opportunities to make decisions about their life, such as housing, employment, education and relationships.   

Every conversation matters, because every child has a story. Our responsibility is to help them on their journey by learning from the perspectives of caregivers, mentors, educators, counselors, librarians and community members. Working together, we can empower youth to find their voice and stay on the right path. Georgia’s children are looking for caring forever families to help make their dreams come true. Please visit ItsMyTurnNow.dhs.ga.gov or call 1-877-210-KIDS for more information.