COLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- To better understand the American public's attitudes and beliefs about adoption, the National Adoption Day Coalition commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct an online survey about adopting a teen from U.S. foster care. Of the 2,339 individuals surveyed in September, 18 percent would adopt a teen (age 13 to 18) from U.S. foster care; 58 percent would not consider it; and 24 percent are not sure. The poll results were weighted to reflect the U.S. adult population.
"Each year nearly 30,000 children turn 18 without having forever families," said Janis Spire, president and CEO of the Alliance for Children's Rights, and member of the National Adoption Day Coalition. "Can you imagine living your entire childhood without a family? The longer children are in foster care, the more at risk they are of leaving foster care without being adopted. Every child deserves a nurturing family and a safe home."
The National Adoption Day Coalition survey found that the most significant obstacles to the adoption of teenagers from foster care are the personal dynamics of adults, including age, economic/housing issues, and the presence of children in the household. As the U.S. population ages, adults are probably looking toward retirement and grandchildren, not expanding their own families through adoption (of younger or older children).
The survey also indicates that women age 18 to 34, and unmarried or never married individuals, are most open to adopting a teenager (age 13 to 18) from U.S. foster care.
The Dunne family from Tampa, Florida, finalized the adoption of four boys from foster care on National Adoption Day in 2011, changing their lives forever. After raising two girls and sending them off to college, Chris and Tammy Dunne agreed they wanted to adopt from foster care.
"Having aged out of foster care as a teenager, I know what it's like to grow up without a family to call your own," Tammy Dunne said. "No child should experience this. Our family has been so blessed by Eric, Trisden, Aaron and John. They make our family complete. I hope, with all of my heart, that our family can encourage others to open up their hearts and homes to children in foster care."
"It is unacceptable that any child should not have the opportunity for a safe, loving and permanent home," said Jennifer Perry, executive director of the Children's Action Network, a member of the National Adoption Day Coalition. "Children enter foster care through no fault of their own, and we hope that National Adoption Day will encourage all individuals to consider adoption from foster care."
This Saturday, more than 4,500 children in foster care will find their forever families on National Adoption Day, November 17, 2012. National Adoption Day is a collective national effort to raise awareness of the more than 100,000 children in foster care waiting to find permanent, loving families.
Since 2000, National Adoption Day has been held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and has helped nearly 40,000 children move from foster care to permanent families by working with policymakers, practitioners and advocates to finalize adoptions, and to create and celebrate adoptive families. November is also National Adoption Month.
For more information about the events taking place locally and foster care adoption, visit nationaladoptionday.org.
National Adoption Day Coalition partners include: Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Freddie Mac Foundation, Children's Action Network, Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute and The Alliance for Children's Rights.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, a member of the National Adoption Day Coalition, from September 13-17, 2012, among 2,339 adults age 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Amanda Wurst at 614-224-8114 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOURCE National Adoption Day Coalition