WASHINGTON, DC – The Advertising Council, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Children’s Bureau and AdoptUsKids, announced the launch of a campaign designed to encourage the adoption of African American children from foster care.

According to the Administration for Children and Families, there are currently 496,000 children in the foster care system and, of these, 130,000 are available for adoption. Thirty-one percent of the children in foster care waiting to be adopted are African American; African American children are overrepresented in the foster care population relative to their percentage in the U.S. general population.

“We are optimistic that this campaign will result in a significant increase in inquiries to AdoptUsKids by families who are interested in adoption, specifically the adoption of older African American children and youth in foster care in the United States,” said Kathy Ledesma, Project Director, AdoptUsKids. Created pro bono by kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners, the new multimedia campaign which includes television, radio, and print PSAs, is designed to help prospective parents realize that “You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent.” It also aims to significantly increase awareness of the need to provide loving, permanent families for children in the foster care system. The new PSAs illustrate to potential parents that children in foster care don’t need perfection, they need the commitment and love a “forever family” can provide. The PSAs direct audiences to visit www.adoptuskids.org, or call 1-888-200-4005 for more information on the adoption process.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Children’s Bureau and AdoptUsKids on this humorous and heartwarming campaign that has inspired thousands of Americans to consider adopting a child from foster care,” according to Peggy Conlon, President & CEO of The Advertising Council. “I am confident that these new PSAs will help increase the adoption of African American children.”

The new PSAs are an extension of the previously successful campaign, launched in 2004, which focused on the adoption of children from foster care. The need for adoptive homes for older children, sibling groups, and children of color is especially great and the campaign has therefore targeted prospective homes for those populations. In the first 18 months following the launch, calls to the AdoptUsKids toll-free number increased by 236%. Additionally, more than 11,000 children whose pictures and biographies were featured on the AdoptUsKids website have been placed with a “forever family.”

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