Over 20,000 young adults age out of the foster care system each year in the United States. Aging out of the foster care system means a child turned 18 and was never given the opportunity to have a loving and full life with an adoptive family. In Arizona, there are currently over 900 teenagers about to age out of foster care who will face the scary realities in the world alone. Teenagers that age out of the foster care system face devastating life experiences. Many find themselves in a life full of drugs, abuse, and homelessness, ill-equipped for the dangers of the world. Adopting foster children can help children or teens change their lives, grow in a healthy and loving environment, and enjoy a prosperous adult life. 

Foster Kids are Big Dreamers and Have Beautiful Aspirations Too

Did you know over 70% of foster youth around the age of seventeen aspire to go to college? Even though they have experienced many heartbreaking situations, 70% of foster kids are passionate about changing their life and making a difference. Though the odds are stacked against teens in foster care, every teenager deserves the opportunity to follow their dreams and feel supported. Over 13,000 foster children in Arizona right now are questioning what their future holds. You can provide the opportunity for one or more of these children to be surrounded with love, support, and safety in their homes. 

The Scary Realities of Aging Out of Foster Care

Up to 36% of youths who age out of foster care become homeless during the transition to adulthood. Many of these teenagers have suffered post-traumatic stress by being removed from their biological family and constantly moving from one set of unfamiliar people and places to another, some for their entire childhood until they age out of foster care at 18 years old. 

71% of teenagers who were never adopted by a forever family will make less than $25,000 a year. The struggle to have stable employment is drastically impacted by education level, lack of reliable transportation, lack of references, and experience due to circumstances teens face in foster care. 

7 in 10 girls who age out of foster care will become pregnant before the age of 21. This incredibly high number of unplanned pregnancies is related to factors girls growing up in foster care have experienced including abuse, neglect, poverty, family disruption, and general instability. 

Children who experience life in foster care, especially ones who sadly age out, have a very high likelihood of developing a substance use dependence. According to research, it is believed that 1 out of 2 young adults who age out of foster care will struggle with addiction. Foster youth who have aged out also have a much higher chance of becoming incarcerated. 

How the Forever Families U.S. Program at Building Arizona Families can Change Lives

Thousands of youth all over the country are quickly approaching the day they turn 18 and age out of the foster care system.  They need a loving family now. Building Arizona Families, a licensed, non-profit adoption agency in Arizona, offers the Forever Families U.S. Program to facilitate the adoption of foster children by families living in Arizona. Starting this journey can begin to change the lives of foster kids and teens. 

This program gives Arizona adoptive families the possibility to adopt foster children through direct adoption placement without becoming foster-certified. It is a less expensive and faster adoption process than private adoption. Find out more information about the foster adoption program requirements, fees, and time frame for the Forever Families U.S. Program at Building Arizona Families, HERE.

Adopting Foster Children can Change the Course of a Teenager’s Life Before They are Faced with Aging Out of Foster Care

Building Arizona Families invites Arizona families to consider adopting foster children in Arizona and around the United States. Remember, contrary to what many people believe, you do not have to be a foster parent before adopting foster children in Arizona. We will help walk you through the direct adoption of children in the foster care system. Download our foster child adoption info kit HERE.

We also invite you to attend one of our informative adoption seminars. You can reach out to Ixcel Baca, Program Coordinator, directly and ask any questions you might have. Ixcel would love to hear from you! You can reach Ixcel at (623) 696-9537 or by e-mailing her at ixcelbaca@buildingarizonafamilies.com. Learn more about the Forever Families program Building Arizona Families offers to adopt foster children HERE. You can change the life of a foster child forever! 

Source – 

https://www.fosterclub.com/national-foster-care-month

https://www.nfyi.org/51-useful-aging-out-of-foster-care-statistics-social-race-media/

https://dcs.az.gov/news-reports/dcs-reports

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