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February 2009Vol. 10, No. 1AdoptUsKids Website Adoptions Exceed 10,000

AdoptUsKids began the new year with an exciting announcement: More than 10,000 children in foster care photolisted on the AdoptUsKids website have been placed for adoption. Launched in 2002, the photolisting allows families considering adoption to learn more about specific children in foster care. Since that time, more than 20,000 prospective families from across the country have registered on the website to begin the adoption process, and more than 24,000 children's pictures and mini-biographies have been posted on the website.

Data on the 10,000-adoptions milestone include promising information about those children who may have faced additional barriers to permanency. For instance, more than 60 percent of the children were at least 10 years old, 47 percent were African American, and 20 percent were siblings adopted together.

The photolisting website is just part of a comprehensive campaign to publicize the benefits and joys of adoption from foster care. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Children's Bureau and the Ad Council introduced a series of public service announcements (PSAs) in 2004 to increase public awareness about children in foster care and their need for loving, permanent homes. The PSA tagline, "You don't have to be perfect to be a perfect parent," has appeared in numerous print, television, and radio ads, making the point that children need loving families—not perfection. For the past 2 years, the ads have focused on the adoption of teenagers, adding the phrase, "There are thousands of teens in foster care who would love to put up with you."

The PSAs and photolisting website are all part of the Children's Bureau's mission to raise public awareness about the 496,000 children in foster care, especially the 130,000 awaiting adoption, many of whom are older children and teens. Currently, there are more than 4,000 children's photos and biographies on the AdoptUsKids website.

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