You’re a parent, and the one thing you know for certain is that your children will never lack for a loving home. But for the more than 400,000 American children currently in some form of out-of-home or foster care, nothing can be taken for granted. For 20 years, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption has raised attention concerning the plight of these children, providing free resources and information to potential adoptive parents.
One important goal of the Foundation is too dispel myths that may frighten families away from adoption. To begin with, fear of the expense is no reason not to adopt. Financial assistance as well as state and federal tax credits are available for adoptive parents. Some parents shy away from adopting, fearing that children in foster care are “damaged” in some way, or even “juvenile delinquents.” While many foster children have been abused or neglected, they can’t be held responsible for being victims. They need more love, not less. Some parents fear that a child’s biological parents may try to reclaim them. This is totally unfounded — once a child has been made free for adoption, birth parents have no legal recourse in any jurisdiction, and any contact is at the discretion of the adoptive parents. And even if you lack a partner, you can still provide a much-needed home. Single parents can legally adopt in all 50 states.
For those who are interested in adoption but don’t know where to start, the Dave Thomas Foundation offers assistance through its Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program. The organization works to connect families with adoption agencies committed to finding the best possible homes for the children in their care. Through the program, more than 2,700 children have found permanent homes — and with thousands more working their way through the system, many more will find the families they need. To learn more, see davethomasfoundation.org, or call 1-800-ASK-DTFA. —MD