Thursday, March 28, 2013


Thank you to all our supporters who entered the photography contest! Below is a photo of our winners at the Greater Rochester International Airport. Congratulations!!

Photo courtesy of EIEIO Photography

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Two days ago, on the eve of the Supreme Court considering Proposition 8, Daniel Martinez tells Chief Justice Roberts why he hopes the judge will strike down California's Proposition 8. Read the story here and watch the video below.

Monday, March 18, 2013


When people first begin looking at domestic foster care adoption, there are a lot of questions that can come up. Below is a list of the top ten questions I get asked most frequently.

The answers I have to these questions are based on the most frequent responses from agencies that certify families for domestic foster care adoption. The final decision for your licensure will need to be made by the adoption agency that completes your home study. You can click here for a list of agencies in your area.

1. How much does it cost to adopt? When adopting from the foster care system, you should pay little to no fees. Any upfront fees involved are usually for the home study but not all agencies charge for this. (Most county's department of social services will provide a home study free of charge.) Depending on the child(ren) you adopt, you may be eligible for financial assistance.

2. I'm gay. Can I adopt? While most states allow single LGBT individuals to adopt, some may have restrictions on both parents jointly petitioning. You can click here for a list of states and their laws regarding LGBT adoption.

3. Do I need to be married to adopt? No. As long as you have a support network (friends, family), the fact that you are single should not play a role in your adoption journey. According to the Adoption Institute, in 1999, 31% of domestic foster care adoptions were by single women.

4. If I have a criminal record, can I still adopt? This depends on the charge. Some agencies see someone who has taken a negative, and made the experience into a positive, as an asset for an adopted child. Many of our youth have struggles and could benefit from a parent who has prevailed over hardship. With that said, if you have a felony, regardless of what it is, it is against the law to adopt from the foster care system. Also, if you have any charges pertaining to children, you will not be able to get certified to adopt.

5. I'm currently on disability. Can I adopt? As long as your disability does not prevent you from being a stable parent, it should not prevent you from adopting. While there are no income requirements to adopt from the foster care system, you will need to prove that you are financially stable and can care for a child.

6. Are there any age requirements to adopt? This is something that is usually decided by the state but agencies have the right to decide whether or not they want to certify a parent. Some states may require you to be 21 years old but it may be difficult to find an agency that will certify persons under the age of 25. As for older persons adopting, there is no age limit but you must have an alternate plan for the child(ren) should something happen to you. The majority of youth who wait to be adopted are over the age of 6. Older parents are needed to adopt older children and teenagers.

7. Can I meet the child before they are placed in my home? When you inquire on a child, you are not immediately matched with that youth. There is a long process that involves reading through child studies, meeting with therapists, caseworkers, foster parents, and visiting with the youth. Most states also require a child to be in the home for at least 3 months before one can petition the courts to adopt.

8. What if I live with a friend or family member - can I still adopt? Any persons over the age of 18, residing in the home, must have a criminal background check. They do not have to take the training or have a home study completed, unless they are your spouse or partner and are also adopting the child.

9. I currently live in a one bedroom but I can move if I am matched with a child. Will this be an issue? I have, on occasion, seen some agencies certify a family under the condition that if and when they were matched, they would be prepared to move into a home with enough room to accommodate the child(ren). Of course, once you move, your caseworker will need to do an update on your home study to show your new residence.

10. I am already a parent. Do I still need to go through the training classes? Yes. In order to be an adoptive parent, you will need to take the training classes (most states use PRIDE or MAPP training). These classes are not parenting classes but rather provide information on the special needs of our children in foster care. They are specifically designed to equip you with the knowledge and tools to assess your family's strengths and needs in order to determine if adoption is right for you.

Children Awaiting Parents is a nonprofit organization that works to promote domestic foster care adoption, specifically for older youth. If you have any questions along the way or need assistance in advocating, please don't hesitate to reach out to us.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Today's guest blogger is our Wendy's Wonderful Kids Recruiter, Melanie Schmidt. She'll be telling us about Craig, a lover of orange soda and crafts!

Craig during the 2012 holiday season

When I showed up for my second visit with Craig at his group home, he remembered me right away even though it had been 2 months since our first meeting. He said, “I missed you, Melanie!”

He is a polite kid and I remember after our first visit, Craig was very shy and did not talk much until I was getting in my car when he called after me, “Have a safe trip and I can’t wait to see you at my group home!”

This time, it was February Break and Craig was off from school so his group home decided to have a “Beach Day”. The children helped make tropical decorations and Craig had on this Hawaiian hat. He later decided to put swim trunks on to complete his beach look. Even though he had a cold and it was his first day in a new cottage at his group home, Craig readily participated in the crafts I brought and proudly showed me around the campus. He showed me his classroom and was excited to go to the vending machine all by himself to purchase an orange soda (his favorite) with the allowance money he earned for being good and doing chores. His staff says Craig is very helpful and enjoys cleaning and helping in the kitchen.

Are you the forever family for this sweet young man?
Click here to inquire on Craig through our website or to watch his video.

Craig is only ONE of over 100,000 youth who are waiting for a permanent home. Please contact or call us at 888-835-8802 to learn more about Craig or other youth who are available and waiting...

Friday, March 8, 2013


One of our very own families, Trelawney McCoy, is being recognized as an Unstoppable Mom on LIVE with Kelly & Michael!

Trelawney's feature today on LIVE with Kelly & Michael
Trelawney McCoy has been volunteering with Children Awaiting Parents for the past 11 years. She has worked as a family advocate, a guest speaker at our informational meetings and for our Faith in Children program, and a member and mentor with CAP's Council of Adoptive Parents (a support group for those going through the adoption process). Trelawney goes above and beyond for her children and has a strong presence in our local community in Rochester, New York. A single mother of EIGHT children (of whom SEVEN she adopted!), she is truly a phenomenal woman.


Below is the nomination letter her sister sent in to LIVE with Kelly & Michael

Rochester, New York
Nominated by her sister, Kimberly Perez
Dear Kelly & Michael,
Trelawney was a divorced mother of 1 child when she began foster parenting. Over the last 14 years, she adopted 3 sets of siblings! Trelawney is not only a Mack Truck Mom, she's a diesel of Community Service, running full speed ahead 18 + hours a day. She has a full time job and has volunteered 20 years in the inner city of Rochester, New York, as a Pop Warner football cheerleading coach. Choosing Motherhood over romance, Trelawney has not had a Valentine's Day date in 16 years! Unstoppable, Yes! Trelawney Bisbee McCoy is indeed an Unstoppable Mom. Her home is not filled with the Valentine's Day chocolate hearts purchased from a store. Instead, Trelawney's home is filled with the hearts of her sons and daughters who love, respect and appreciate her. Trelawney Bisbee McCoy, voted Rochester's Foster Mom of the Year, IS your Unstoppable Mom. I am very, very proud of her.

Please show your support and on Thursday, March 14, be sure to vote for Trelawney McCoy!