By Alex Temblador
May is National Foster Care Awareness Month and it with the greatest pleasure that I combed through YouTube to find wonderful videos about foster care and foster adopting to share with you.
There are too many children in the foster care system and it’s important to see how wonderful individuals have opened their homes to these youth. I hope you are just as inspired by these individuals — lesbian couples, gay dads, single dads, single moms, moms who were in the foster care system, foster care youth, and LGBT foster care youth — as I was.
Please share this article so others can be inspired by these beautiful stories and we can all work together to create a beautiful future for foster care youth.
Lesbian Moms on Foster Adopting
Brandy Black of The Next Family did a wonderful series with two lesbian moms about their Foster Adoption process. These moms answered questions about why they chose to be foster care parents, and provided tips for other couples or individuals interested in foster adopting or the foster care system. They even provide insight into fostering a child with autism and what they learned about the falsehoods associated with fostering “special needs” foster children. Check out the two videos below.
LGBTQ Youth in the Foster Care System
“The foster care system is not a great place to question your sexuality really,” says Holly Luna, a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruiter, Families Like Ours. And it’s not. LGBTQ youth in the foster care system often have it worse than other foster care youth, especially if they are older and a person of color. This video gives a voice to these invisible youth and brings to light the importance of providing LGBTQ youth safe and accepting foster homes or adoptive families.
Changing the Foster Care System From Within
After being put in the foster care system because of an abusive mother, Ann shares how she and other foster kids are working together to change and improve the foster care system from within. Furthermore, she’s found love and confidence through her own foster family.
Foster Youth: Know Your Rights
Though this video is specifically for Hawaii, we love it’s message. This particular video uses young teens from foster care to explain the rights that all foster care youth have under Hawaii law. Not all foster care youth know or understand their basic rights in foster care, but with a YouTube video explaining them, it may reach young youth who are not in ideal or safe foster homes. Hoping other states follow suit with similar videos!
Moms Who Grew Up in the Foster Care System
Women who have grown up in the foster care system often have their own children go into the foster care system too. They’re also more likely to end up homeless. However, this video is inspiring because it shows two moms that struggled in the foster care and as young mothers, but are now working hard to provide their kids the best possible opportunities.
One of the mothers say, “A lot of the times you look at where you came from and your background, and you think that molds your future, but that means nothing… I am who I am and I’m proud of me.”
Special Needs Adoption
There are children with special needs in the foster care — however, “special needs” has a very broad definition in the foster care system. Children with physical and mental disabilities are often some of the very hardest to place in foster homes or adoptive homes. These parents welcomed kids with physical and mental disabilities into their home and their stories are amazing.
Why the LGBTQ Community Needs to Consider Fostering
These two dads share their insight as to why the LGBTQ community — and any loving person — should consider fostering or foster adoption.
Foster Kids Give Back by Becoming Foster Parents
After being in the foster care system herself, Shara Martinez decided to become a foster parent at the age of 32. Though she herself has struggles, Shara opened her home to teenage boys (many of which have been abused or were in gangs) because she often notices that teenage boys have it far more difficult than teenage girls in the foster care system. Shara shares her story in this video and we are able to witness the boys inspired by having a safe place in her home.
Single Parents Can Foster Adopt
We love this video — probably because it shows a single loving foster father who took in a teenage lesbian foster daughter. He provided her love and support and introduced her to positive, successful LGBT role models. It further shows that, YES, single individuals can be foster parents or foster adopt. Check out the second video to see other single parents choosing to be foster parents too.
Alex Temblador is a writer for The Next Family and the founder of a women’s blogazine, Fempotential.