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PSAs dispel fears about adoption

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  • PSAs dispel fears about adoption

    PSAs dispel fears about adoption
    11/14/2004 6:37 PM
    By: Allie Rasmus

    About 130,000 kids in America are waiting to be adopted, and almost 500 are in
    Central Texas.

    A national campaign is trying to lower those numbers. Health and Human Services
    and the Ad Council have put together four public service announcements (PSAs)
    to encourage prospective parents to think differently about adoption.

    While it can be a daunting thought to adopt a child from foster care who's been
    abused or neglected, the commercials aim to dispel that fear.

    One PSA shows a little girl dressed as a lion. When her dad comes home, he
    mistakes her for a horse. The message is simple: "You don't have to be perfect
    to be a perfect parent," the commercials say.

    Janis Brown, from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services,
    helped with the national call-to-action. She said research proves there are
    thousands of suitable adoptive parents, but many are intimated by taking in a
    child from foster care.

    "The longer children are in foster care and waiting for adoption, the harder it
    is for them to be placed," Brown said.

    The commercials focus particularly on children older than eight, sibling
    groups, minorities and those with disabilities. They are the hardest to find
    homes for.

    "Since we know those are harder to place children, in the sense that families
    are wanting younger children oftentimes, when they think about adoption, it's
    important we get the message across these children, too, are available and just
    as warm of an experience in parenting," Brown said.

    Therapist Steve Terrell counsels foster and adoptive kids. He's also a single,
    adoptive father who knows exactly why you don't have to be a hero to be a hero
    to a child.

    "I can't tell you how many times my son would crawl up and I'd fall asleep on
    the couch while he sits and watches cartoons. And I'll sleep away," Terrell
    said. "That's some of the best times we've had together. It's not about going
    and doing constantly. It's about being. And just showing up."

    More than anything, the commercials aim to show that foster kids just want a
    place to call theirs.

    "When you adopt a child from foster care, just being there makes all the
    difference," the commercials say.

    A good friend will come and bail you out of jail . . . but, a true friend will
    be sitting next to you saying, "**** . . . that was fun!"
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