Consider Expanding Your Family
By Adopting an Older Child or Teen
by DCFS Adoption Team
When it comes to family, we all pretty much want the same thing — a sense of belonging. A family moves through life with you. They are the people who support you during difficult times and will celebrate with you when things are going great.
At any given time, more than 150 children in foster care across our state are eligible for adoption and want nothing more than to be a part of someone’s family. They want a permanent place to call home. They want to be adopted.
Louisiana has seen great successes with our adoption efforts over the past several years. Last year, we celebrated 470 families who adopted 612 children from foster care.
However, there is still a critical need for more families to welcome children into their homes. This is especially true for older children and teenagers. Last year, teens made up 11 percent of adoptions from foster care.
Some older youth, like Xavier (15 years old) from the Alexandria Region and Christopher (13 years old) from the Covington Region, have been waiting years for a permanent home.
Xavier has been ready for his forever family since August of 2017; that’s more than 1,800 days. Like most teenagers, he loves video games, YouTube videos, playing basketball, and shopping for tennis shoes. In addition, he loves God and enjoys a good worship service.
Christopher has been ready for his forever family since December of 2014, more than 2,700 days. He loves playing outside, puzzles, attending church and Sunday school, and playing with kids his age. He is hoping to maintain family contact with his sister.
Foster children and teens like Xavier and Christopher need a forever commitment from a family.
You may be thinking you don’t have the qualifications or finances for adoption but consider this:
- Adopting from foster care is free;
- Single, married, divorced, and widowed individuals 21 years old and older are eligible; and
- You can adopt if you have enough income to meet your family’s basic needs.
Financial assistance may be available based on the child’s needs. Youth adopted after the age of 14 are eligible for continued services through Independent Living Providers until the age of 23. Those adopted at 16 are eligible for educational training vouchers for post-secondary education.
If you are considering adoption or fostering a child, take that first step by attending a free, virtual orientation session. Check out the current orientation schedule. Before becoming a foster or adoptive parent, you will receive specialized virtual and in-person training, and DCFS completes a home study with a background check. For more information about becoming a foster/adoptive parent and the training available, visit dcfs.la.gov/foster.
In our next blog post, we will feature more children like Xavier and Christopher, who have been waiting a long time to be adopted. In the meantime, we encourage you to visit the Louisiana Heart Gallery.
Help us find homes for more of Louisiana’s children. Share this news, visit dcfs.la.gov/adoption, and reach out to us. If you’ve ever considered adoption, thank you. We need you!