Washington, DC (October 26, 2023) – 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 AdoptUSKids.org 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 AdoptUSKids.org or visit the AdoptUSKids social communities on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families
Within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is responsible for federal programs that promote the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals, and communities. The Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) administers national programs for children and youth; works with states, tribes, and local communities to develop services that support and strengthen family life; seeks joint ventures with the private sector to enhance the lives of children and their families; and provides information and other assistance to parents. Many of the programs administered by ACYF focus on children from low-income families; abused and neglected children; children and youth in need of foster care, independent living, adoption or other child welfare services; preschool children; children with disabilities; runaway and homeless youth; and children from Native American and migrant families. For more information on ACYF’s adoption programs, please visit https://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/focus-areas/adoption.
AdoptUSKids is a multi-faceted, federally funded project whose mission is to raise public awareness about the need for families for children in foster care, and assist states, territories, and tribes to recruit and retain foster and adoptive families and connect them with children. The project is managed through a cooperative agreement with the Children's Bureau at ACF. To learn more visit AdoptUSKids.org, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and view our inspiring videos on YouTube.
The Ad Council
The Ad Council convenes creative storytellers to educate, unite and uplift audiences by opening hearts, inspiring action and accelerating change around the most pressing issues in America. Since the non-profit’s founding, the organization and its partners in advertising, media, marketing and tech have been behind some of the country’s most iconic social impact campaigns – Smokey Bear, A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste, Love Has No Labels, Tear the Paper Ceiling and many more. With a current focus on mental health, gun safety, the opioid epidemic, skill-based hiring and other critical issues, the Ad Council’s national campaigns encompass advertising and media content, ground game and community efforts, trusted messenger and influencer engagement, and employer programs, among other innovative strategies to move the needle on the most important issues of the day.
Edelman is a global communications firm that partners with businesses and organizations to evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations. Our 6,000 people in more than 60 offices deliver communications strategies that give our clients the confidence to lead and act with certainty, earning the trust of their stakeholders. Our honors include PRovoke’s Global Agency of the Year (2022); Cannes Lions Grand Prix awards for PR (2016) and the Entertainment Lions for Sport (2021); a Gold Lion in the Sustainable Development Goals category (2022); Cannes Lions Independent Agency of the Year for the Entertainment Track (2021); Cannes Lions Co-Independent Agency of the Year in the Good Track (2022); and Advertising Age’s 2019 A-List. Since our founding in 1952, we have remained an independent, family-run business. Edelman owns specialty companies Edelman Data x Intelligence (research, data), Edelman Smithfield (financial communications), Edelman Global Advisory (advisory), and United Entertainment Group (entertainment, sports, lifestyle).