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November 2009Vol. 10, No. 9New PSA Campaign Recruits Families for African-American Children

The Children's Bureau and AdoptUsKids have partnered with the Ad Council once again to produce a series of humorous and heartwarming public service announcements (PSAs) designed to encourage the public to consider adoption from foster care. While the theme "You don't have to be perfect to be a perfect parent" continues to serve as the touchstone for the campaign, this year's ads target the recruitment of families for African-American children.

Of the 496,000 children in the U.S. foster care system, 130,000 are waiting for families to adopt them. African-American children continue to be overrepresented in the foster care system, and children of color often wait longer to be adopted.

Since the adoption PSA campaign began in 2004, each year's PSAs have offered a lighthearted look at family life—often with a focus on recruiting families for particular populations of children, such as families for teenagers or families for Hispanic children. This year's ads are no different in their humorous approach, but the visual (television and print) ads show African-American parents and children. Each vignette portrays a family activity or task with a comical twist at the end reminding the viewer that "you don't have to be perfect to be a perfect parent." The videos and photos show parents running after children to give them bag lunches, setting the barbeque aflame, and conducting an overzealous session of paintball. The situations are designed to trigger both a smile and some deeper thinking about adoption.

The Children's Bureau and other sponsors hope that families will see themselves in the ads and consider the possibility of adoption from foster care.

To view the press release, visit the Ad Council website:

To visit the AdoptUsKids website, go to: