National Adoption Month

Image of six teens taking a selfie  

November is National Adoption Month, and this year’s theme focuses on how to make youth voice an everyday way of life. 

There are thousands of teenagers across the country currently in the foster care system who need permanent family connections to carry them into adulthood. The U.S. Children’s Bureau urges all communities to remain steadfast in the pursuit of permanency for older youth. 

One way to overcome some of the barriers to permanency is to “listen and learn” from youth by creating opportunities to connect with them and understand their needs and challenges. 

Visit the National Adoption Month website to learn cutting-edge strategies and practices, find state examples of success, and see some of the work being developed by Children’s Bureau grantees on trainings for foster and adoptive parents, mental health competency, and more. 

Help spread the word about the unique challenges and opportunities facing older youth waiting for adoption during the month of November and throughout the year, and stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

Key Facts and Statistics

  1. There are over 122,000 children and youth waiting to be adopted who are at risk of aging out of foster care without permanent family connections. (AFCARS report)
  2. Approximately one in five children in the U.S. foster care system waiting to be adopted are teens.
  3. Only 5 percent of all children adopted in 2019 were 15 - 18 years old.
  4. The risk of homelessness and human trafficking is increased for teenagers in foster care.
  5. According to the most recent AFCARS report, of the 122,000 children and youth waiting to be adopted:
    • 52 percent are male
    • 48 percent are female
    • 22 percent are African American
    • 22 percent are Hispanic
    • 44 percent are white
    • The average age is eight years old
    • 11 percent are between 15 and 18 years old
    • Average time in foster care is 31 months