Think there is an age limit for a child or youth to be adopted? Think again!
Bob is a 17-year-old teen who had been in Kansas foster care for some time and needed a forever family to adopt him. Over time, he began to think that he was too old to be adopted. His foster family wanted to continue supporting him and decided that they could provide guardianship. Bob was willing to pursue guardianship with his foster family, however the KVC Adoptive Resource Coordinator, Debbie Dominick, never stopped trying to find an adoptive resource for him.
A year earlier, Bob had agreed to do a television taping with Adopt Kansas Kids to be featured as a youth in need of an adoptive family. His video was featured on the news and shared on various social media outlets. Bob also let Debbie film a second video of him tossing a football around, discussing his favorite things and sharing what he was looking for in an adoptive family. (You can see the KVC-produced video that was shared online here.) Debbie continued to meet with Bob at his school even though it was two and a half hours away. She would make the drive to bring Bob his favorite ice cream and discuss where things were in the adoption process.
A Forever Family is Found
Jerry Gross and Keira Jones are parents to a 16-year-old daughter and two adopted 19-year-old sons. The couple had adopted one of the boys from foster care through KVC. Their family seemed to be complete until one day Keira came across Bob’s video online. As she watched and listened to the things Bob desired in a family, Keira realized her family could meet all of his needs. She sent Bob’s video to her husband, and they contacted KVC the very next day.
Debbie started delivering letters and pictures from the family to Bob and continued to update him on where the adoption process stood. Hopeful, but still unsure, Bob continued to believe he was too old to be adopted, so he decided to pursue guardianship with his foster family. Debbie was supportive of his decision, but when she visited Bob two days before his 17th birthday, she said she had a surprise for him. Earlier in the week, the Kansas Department for Children and Families had given their blessing for Jerry and Keira to adopt him. Keira had come along for the visit and was waiting in the car if Bob still wanted to meet her. He looked at Debbie and said, “Yes I’ll meet her!” A tear escaped his eye and his voice quivered as he said, “I didn’t think this was real.”
The meeting with Keira went very well, and Bob spent the next weekend with the whole family. The adoption was finalized on September 19, 2016, and Debbie was there to celebrate with Bob and several members of his new family. The young man who thought he was too old to be adopted finally found the caring, loving family he wanted and deserved.
Watch this video from Bob’s adoption day:
Everyone needs and deserves the stability and support that a family can provide. If you or a family you know are interested in adopting, visit our website to meet children in need of a forever home and consider these benefits of adopting an older child from foster care. If you are ready to take the first step toward becoming a foster or adoptive parent, contact a Community Resource Specialist near you!
Many people foster before they end up adopting. If you’re interested in learning more about what this experience is like, download our free ebook “11 Incredible Stories of Real Foster Parents” by clicking below.