U.S. foster care system offers hope for children at risk

Global Business

Over the past few decades in the United States, the much-maligned orphanages of old have been replaced by a system of state-approved caregivers, known as foster parents, who take children into their homes. While it can take a while for the paperwork to go through, for the children, it’s a potentially life-changing process. CCTV America’s Andrea Arenas reported this story from Washington D.C.

U.S. foster care system offers hope for children at risk

Over the past few decades in the United States, the much-maligned orphanages of old have been replaced by a system of state-approved caregivers, known as foster parents, who take children into their homes. While it can take a while for the paperwork to go through, for the children, it’s a potentially life-changing process. CCTV America’s Andrea Arenas reported this story from Washington D.C.

In the United States, there are about 400,000 children in foster care and at least 100,000 are eligible for adoption, but one out of three will wait more than three years.

The system includes thorough vetting and background checks for prospective foster parents.

“These children have already been harmed, and now it’s our responsibility to make sure they are not harmed again. And if they go and are placed into a family, that hopefully that family that can provide for all of their needs, and that they can live with them permanently,” Kathy Ledesma, national director for Adopt US kids said.

Getting approved as a foster parent, and later adopting a child, can take anywhere from six months to several years.

Talyn Lucien is just 11 years old, but she’s already made up her mind to be a singer when she grows up. Just like any child her age, she’s full of dreams.

But it wasn’t always this way. For years, Talyn was the legal responsibility of the U.S. state of Maryland and was moved among several foster homes, leaving her feeling unwanted.

But that all changed five years ago when she met Traci Lucien, a foster parent who eventually became her adoptive mother.

Talyn still remembers what she was thinking on that happy day.

“That she was pretty and that she was the one. It’s like, of course, I’m not gonna ask what her name is; she is gonna be my permanent mom. Now, I’m glad to see that someone has feelings for me, like, more than feelings. she loves me, like a mother is supposed to do. And I love her just as much, even though sometimes I may not act like it,” Talyn said.

As far as Traci Lucien is concerned, it’s been worth the wait.

“I always knew that I wanted to adopt. I knew that I couldn’t personally have a child and I just felt like if I didn’t do it now, married or not, then I probably wouldn’t do it, and I would regret it,” she said.