Real Adoptive Parents and Teens Choose Each Other in New Heartwarming PSAs

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Cover image for  article: Real Adoptive Parents and Teens Choose Each Other in New Heartwarming PSAs

For almost 20 years, this inspiring campaign has contributed to the more than 900,000 children and youth that have been adopted from the U.S. foster care system.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), AdoptUSKids, and the Ad Council today launched moving new public service advertisements (PSAs) that encourage prospective parents to adopt teens from foster care. Created by Edelman, the PSAs build on the campaign’s “You Can’t Imagine the Reward” message and feature real adoptive families sharing their adoption from foster care stories and how rewarding the journey has been for both parents and teens.

“For years, our team has produced emotional work inspired by real adoption stories because there is nothing more powerful than seeing the overwhelming love these families have for one another. We hope that hearing from families who experience the life-changing rewards of adoption every day encourages prospective adoptive parents to take the first step to learn more about adoption from foster care,” said Michelle Hillman, Chief Campaign Development Officer of the Ad Council.

According to the most recent Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) data, teens (13–17 years of age) constituted 22% of the children/youth waiting to be adopted in the foster care system, but account for only 12% of those adopted. Teenagers in foster care have a particularly challenging time getting adopted and may wait up to twice as long to achieve permanency compared to younger children.

“By showcasing actual adoptive families and their real-life experiences, we hope prospective parents will see that these families are as complex and diverse as any family. We trust the message that teens have a voice in choosing their adoptive family and that maintaining their connections with birth families and other important relationships is honored, respected and supported by their adoptive families.” said Rebecca Jones Gaston, Commissioner, Administration for Children, Youth and Families.”

A common misconception about teen adoption is that the decision to adopt is driven solely by adoptive parents, but in reality, teens also have an active role in that choice. The decision to become a family is reciprocal. New PSAs, “Parents Adopted,” developed pro bono by Edelman celebrate how teens and adoptive parents actively choose each other and showcase adoptive parents talking about how they too were “adopted” by their teens. Together, adoptive parents and teens talk openly about choosing to be each other’s family and how they’ve built and fostered a life of deep and mutual rewards. By inviting prospective parents to hear from these six dynamic and relatable families, the new PSAs help viewers see themselves as potential adoptive parents. The work directs audiences to visit to learn more about adopting a teen from foster care. Parents can also call 1-888-200-4005 to receive information about the foster care system and the adoption process. Potential foster and adoptive families can also call 1-877-236-7831 for information in Spanish.

“Edelman has long admired and supported the powerful campaigns produced by the Ad Council. The work is always meaningful, always provoking. It is an honor to join the stable of agencies that have lent their creative talent and intuition to these very important initiatives. “Parents Adopted” flips the script on the typical adoption narrative. It’s about empowering our youth, and the amazing feeling that comes when your kid loves you back.” said Judy John Global Chief Creative Officer, Edelman.

Per the Ad Council’s model, the PSAs will run in time and space donated by the media. The campaign is supported by longtime agency of record MMI Agency, who is extending the reach of the latest creative by securing donated media placements. Since the initial launch of the campaign in 2004, the campaign has received more than $829 million in donated media support across television, radio, print, out-of-home and digital media.

For more information about adoption, or about becoming an adoptive parent to a child or teen from foster care, please visit or visit the AdoptUSKids social communities on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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