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My name is Kyana and I am a recent addition to the National Adoption Center family. I was brought on as a Recruitment Team Lead Facilitator to work on a grant, NJ-CARES, in collaboration with New Jersey’s Office of Adoption Operations. NJ-CARES’s purpose is to provide intensive-child-specific recruitment to children waiting to be adopted in New Jersey’s foster care system, in fact we are working with those who have been waiting the longest in foster care.

Effects of Foster Care on Children

Foster care is supposed to be a temporary solution whereby the child is adopted by a loving family or is reunited with the biological family once the situation is deemed safe. But the average child remains in foster care for two years, often being shuffled from one home to another. Some children are never reunified or adopted, and the effects are damaging:

Discrimination in the Foster Care System

According to Dorothy Roberts, professor at Northwestern University's School of Law and author of Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare (2002),
“The number of black (and Latino) children in state custody is a national disgrace that reflects systemic injustices and calls for radical reform.”

Following is an excerpt from PBS Frontline “Race and Class in the Child Welfare System” by Dorothy Roberts

I Can’t Help But Wonder

My brother-in-law has terminal cancer and is living five minutes from his home in a reportedly beautiful and gracious hospice center. Nevertheless, he fights for the chance to go home, preferably not to die, but rather to live.

He is a trooper and a man of conviction. While cancer has overtaken his body, he is oh-so-alive in his mind. And, in his mind, he will continue that state as long as humanly possible. Why, you ask? I had that same question.

Get to Know Your Leaders

As we begin a new year, we encourage you to take a few minutes to learn a little bit about your Congressional leaders and their stance on adoption. Now is a great opportunity to begin building a relationship with your two Senate offices and your district Representative. Each office has Congressional staff who handle domestic adoption and child welfare or foster care issues. Sometime this month, make time to do a five-minute phone call (to your 2 Senators and 1 Representative) to find out who that staff person is and introduce yourself.


The sometimes volatile discourse surrounding the right of or appropriateness of gays and/or lesbian adults to adopt children yearning for permanence and forever families triggers, for me, memories of my “family secret”…a secret hidden at great emotional cost to me, my brothers and my mother. This secret undermined our financial security, sense of personal safety and was a crippling embarrassment. Our father’s alcoholism was, then, seen a disgrace rather than diagnosed as disease. Given the choice I’d take gay any day!


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