Waiting Children: Who They Are and How You Can Help
Maybe you know there are 400,000 children in the U.S. foster care system. But did you know 115,000 of these children are considered “waiting children”?
Who are waiting children?
Most often you’ve heard “waiting children” called “foster children” because they are currently in foster care. However, waiting children are children who will not be returning to their biological families. In fact, waiting children wait in foster care until they are adopted or they age out of the foster care system.
When do foster children become waiting children?
Similar to other children in foster care, waiting children were placed in foster care due to abuse, neglect or death that left them unable to reside with their biological family. But after a series of court hearings and attempts towards stability, the biological family’s parental rights were taken away so the child does not reunify with their biological family.
Who can adopt waiting children?
Most adults (single or married) who are at least 21 years-old can adopt waiting children. The list of requirements vary by state but you don’t need a large amount of cash or a big house, just a caring heart and stable home.
Want to learn more?
- Read profiles of children who are waiting for someone to step up and adopt them.
- Ask someone you know about their family’s foster care adoption story. If you don’t know anyone personally, ask around and look on social media. Learning from another’s lived experience provides insights you might not learn anywhere else.
- Read and listen to stories of other families who have adopted through foster care to gain inspiration.