‘Firsts’: AdoptUSKids PSAs Promote Adoption of Teens in Foster Care


A new series of PSAs are shedding light on the importance of adopting teens from foster care.

AdoptUSKids emphasizes the numerous “firsts” families experience with such an adoption, ranging from getting a driver’s license, inviting a prom date, playing a first big game or weathering a relationship break-up.

The tag for each PSA is: “You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent. Thousands of teens in foster care can’t wait to share their firsts with you.”

Created pro bono by Forsman & Bodenfors New York, the campaign is a joint initiative from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, AdoptUSKids and the Ad Council.

Approximately 20% of youths in the US foster care system waiting for adoption are teens, who face a particularly challenging time getting adopted. After the termination of parental rights, kids ages 15- to 17-year-olds wait on average twice as long for an adoptive home as those 14 or younger.

“This campaign has made a lasting impact on so many lives since it first launched in 2004, and we’re not done yet,” said Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council, in a press release. “So far, we have helped more than 30,000 youth find homes and are thrilled to watch that number continue to grow as more potential adoptive parents become aware of the issue and give teens in foster care the love and stability they deserve, including the many ‘firsts’ they will experience as a family.”

“Many of these young people are experiencing foster care through no fault of their own,” said Jerry Milner, Associate Commissioner of the Children’s Bureau. “And I believe we must do a better job of highlighting the importance a forever family has on these older youths’ well-being and the impact it plays on their transition to adulthood.”

Even with our stronger focus on primary prevention, Miller added, there will still be a need for foster care and furthermore, some of those young people becoming eligible for adoption. “We know family, by any definition, is the best resource we have to create an environment for young people to be safe, healthy, and ultimately thrive.”

The Ad Council is distributing the PSAs to media outlets nationwide this week, directing viewers to visit AdoptUSKids or call 1-888-200-4005 for additional information. Potential foster and adoptive families can also call 1-877-236-7831 for information in Spanish.


Since the initial launch of the campaign in 2004, AdoptUSKids has received more than $595 million in donated media support across television, radio, print, out-of-home and digital media.

“Firsts” is a campaign worth adopting.

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