NEARLY 150,000 CHILDREN ARE WAITING IN FOSTER CARE FOR THEIR FOREVER FAMILIES

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FROM THE NEWSROOM

  • newsroom-icon NEWS STORIESNov 28, 2017

    CBS announced that singer-songwriter Josh Groban will headline the 19th annual A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, to be broadcast Tuesday, Dec. 19 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Also, Kelly Clarkson, Kacey Musgraves and Kane Brown are set to perform on the special.

    A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS features uplifting stories of adoption from foster care and raises awareness of this important social issue. The inspirational stories of these American families are enhanced with performances by some of today’s most popular artists.

    Singer, songwriter and actor Josh Groban has entertained fans globally with his multi-platinum albums and DVDs (over 30 million sold worldwide), electrifying live performances and comedic film and television appearances. He is the only artist who has had two albums on the Top Ten Bestselling Albums list in the past decade, according to Billboard. Groban has released seven studio albums and received numerous Grammy Award nominations. In 2016 he embarked on an extensive North American tour to support his album Stages, titled “Josh Groban: On Stage.” That year, Groban also made his Broadway debut in the new musical “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812.” He is a member of Americans for the Arts Artists Committee and his Find Your Light Foundation helps enrich the lives of young people through the arts.

    Multiple Grammy Award winner Kelly Clarkson recently released her eagerly anticipated eighth studio album, Meaning of Life, which is a collection of smart and sensual soul-inspired pop. The Texas-born, Nashville-based singer-songwriter came to fame in 2002 as the winner of the inaugural season of “American Idol.” She has had over 100 #1 Billboard singles and total worldwide sales of more than 25 million albums and 36 million singles. She has released eight studio albums, one greatest hits album and two children’s books.

    Multiple Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves received mass critical acclaim and recognition with the 2013 release of her Gold-certified album Same Trailer Different Park, which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. Her follow-up album, Pageant Material, was released in 2015, earning her a second #1 debut on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and soaring to #3 on the Billboard 200 chart. Musgraves is currently working on her highly-anticipated third album and will be joining Little Big Town and Harry Styles on tour next year.

    Multi-Platinum-selling country vocalist Kane Brown burst onto the music scene with the release of his chart-topping, Gold-certified debut album, Kane Brown, less than a year ago. After debuting at #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart, the iTunes Country chart and iTunes all-genre chart upon its release last December, Brown released Kane Brown, Deluxe Edition, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Country chart and #5 on the Billboard 200 chart. Brown is the only artist in history to simultaneously top all five Billboard Country charts and is the best-selling new country artist of the past three years. The ACM New Male Vocalist nominee recently released his new single, “Heaven,” which is the follow-up single to his record-breaking #1, Platinum-selling single “What Ifs.”

    Dennis Family (Norfolk, Va.)
    Reporter Staci Dennis had been working on a story about a child who had aged out of foster care, and said, “That experience had an impact on both my husband and I, and we chose to adopt a hard-to-place foster child at risk of aging out.” In 2013 Staci and her husband Eric found Kylie’s photo on an adoption web site. “Kylie was considered almost un-adoptable,” Staci said. “She had lived in fear and chaos for 13 years and we wanted to give her the opportunity to see who she really was.” “I was born into foster care,” Kylie said. “Foster homes, group homes and institutional facilities – I was moved through them all. My life was about survival. I ran away four times. By 12, I’d been placed on 14 prescription pills a day. I didn’t think I had a future.” Today, Kylie is on her school track and field team, plays volleyball and is a great sister to 17-year-old Angie, who joined the Dennis family this summer. “It turns out that I didn’t need any of those prescription drugs. All I needed was to be nurtured,” said Kylie.

    Fisher Family (Salt Lake City, Utah)
    Jen and Jeff Fisher were the proud parents of two children when they found three remarkable kids in a heartbreaking situation. “I met Tannah and her little brother Teagun while I was working for a drug rehab facility where they would visit their biological mother, who was my client,” said Jen. “When I was little, our parents did drugs, and I never knew who they were going to be. I was super scared because no one was ever there for us,” said Tannah. “One day, their biological mother called me and asked me to take her newborn, who was severely drug-addicted and now in state custody,” said Jen. Not only did the Fishers embrace the infant, Tallie, but they soon welcomed Tannah and her little brother into their family after the kids were placed in foster care. “I am so happy and grateful. We are finally safe, and Tallie will never have to live like my little brother and I did,” said Tannah.

    Thompson Family (Poteau, Okla.)
    Officer Jody Thompson and his wife, Jeannie, had two sons before a 9-1-1 child abuse call changed their family’s life forever. “When the call came out, I prepared for the worst and prayed for the best,” said Officer Thompson. When he arrived on the scene, he found John, an 8-year-old boy who had been starved, had his wrists bound, and was left submerged in a trash can of ice water with the lid attached. The child’s body was covered in abrasions. “I just looked at him and thought, ‘Man, you are an incredibly brave boy.’” Thompson continued. “I was so happy that Jody stayed with me at the hospital that night. I knew he would protect me,” said John. “The next morning I knew the only way I would feel that John was safe was if he was with me,” said Officer Thompson. When the Thompsons learned that John’s biological sister had been born in prison, they adopted her too. Today, the Thompson kids are thriving and John is a straight-A honor roll student. “I decided to share my story because I don’t want other kids to suffer like I did,” said John. “If you see something, please say something. Kids just want to feel safe – and now we are!”

    Black Family (Rochester, N.Y.)
    Veronica Black was a successful single mom when she decided to adopt from foster care. “I came from a big family,” said Black. “I wanted my 6-year-old son, Styles, to grow up with siblings.” In 2007 she adopted 7-year-old Lennon, who had been placed in foster care as an infant. Over the years, his siblings had been adopted, but Lennon was left alone. “When I was little, I had a ‘list of wishes’ and I never gave up hope that one day some would come true… then I met my mom and they all came true,” said Lennon. Six years later, Black adopted brothers – 7-year-old Ian and 5-year-old Jaubert, who had been living in separate foster homes and had been part of a horrific child abuse case. Today, Black’s four sons are thriving in school and active in lacrosse, football and the school wrestling team. “Today my boys are truly happy kids, and watching them grow up is such a blessing,” said Black.

    Children Waiting
    Currently, there are more than 420,000 children in foster care in the United States. The inspirational “Children Waiting” segment gives voice to these forgotten children by creating an intimate portrait of their hopes, their dreams and their wish for a “forever family.”

    The special is presented in association with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and the Children’s Action Network.

    Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas, who was adopted, established the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption in 1992. It is dedicated to dramatically increasing the adoptions of children in North America’s foster care system.

    The Children’s Action Network was founded in 1990 by leaders in the entertainment industry in order to harness the power of the entertainment media on behalf of children. The special is a part of CAN’s National Adoption Campaign to raise awareness of the joys of adopting and to find homes for the children who are waiting.

    The 19th annual A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS is produced by Triage Entertainment and Goldsmith Entertainment. Karen Mack, Stu Schreiberg, Stephen Kroopnick and Marilyn Seabury are the executive producers. Kelly Brock is the producer, Kimberly Steer is the supervising producer and Mary Donaldson is the coordinating producer. Mike Simon is directing the special.

  • newsroom-icon NEWS STORIESNov 10, 2017

     

    WASHINGTON – Save The Adoption Tax Credit Working Group issues the following statement in response to the House Ways and Means Committee’s updated tax reform bill and the release of Senate Republicans’ proposed tax reform bill:

    “We are deeply appreciative that the House Ways and Means Committee has reversed its proposed elimination of the adoption tax credit and has taken a step to support American families by retaining the adoption tax credit as part of H.R. 1, Tax Cuts and
    Jobs Act. Additionally, we are pleased the Senate Republican’s proposal has also retained this important tax credit.

    “As the legislative process for tax reform moves forward, Congress should ensure that any final bill maintains the current availability and amount of the adoption tax credit for all Americans that currently qualify. Anything less would result in Congress picking winners and losers among children and their families. Beyond retaining the current credit, improvements should include reinstating refundability of this credit so more middle and lower income families can benefit as they welcome a child into their home.

    “On behalf of the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group, a coalition of more than 150 adoption and family building advocates, nonprofits, attorneys, and religious organizations across the United States, we appreciate the work that Chairman Kevin Brady and Representatives Mike Kelly, Diane Black, Trent Franks, and Danny Davis did to reinstate the adoption tax credit in the House bill. We look forward to working with all Members of Congress to preserve and enhance the credit. All children deserve a forever family.”

    ###

    Save the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group is a national collaboration of more than 150 organizations and individuals united to support adoption by advocating for the adoption tax credit. To learn more, visit AdoptionTaxCredit.org.

  • newsroom-icon NEWS STORIESSep 25, 2017

    Annual list recognizes the top 100 U.S. companies

    Columbus, Ohio – For the 11th year, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption surveyed the nation’s employers in search of those with the best adoption benefits. The Foundation compares financial reimbursement and paid leave given to new adoptive parents. This year, there is a new company atop the list.

    American Express ranked number one this year, moving up 30 spots on the list from 2016. The company offers U.S.-based, regular, full-time and part-time employees up to $35,000 to aid with the cost of an adoption (up to a maximum of two events per employee). The company also offers up to 20 weeks of paid parental leave to women and men welcoming a child through adoption.

    “American Express has long advocated for the diverse needs of our working parents and caregivers,” said Vice President Benefits and Mobility Tammy Yee. “We are proud to be recognized by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption for our best-in-class parental benefits and our continued investment in the overall wellbeing of our employees and their families.”

    “American Express’ leadership in this area is truly remarkable,” said Rita Soronen, President & CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. “The two companies topping the list this year made significant enhancements in their adoption benefits. We are pleased and excited to see that companies, both large and small, continue to be committed to the importance of family bonding time when a child enters a home through adoption.”

    Children enter foster care through no fault of their own. Right now, there are more than 110,000 children in the U.S. foster care system waiting to be adopted. Every year, more than 20,000 children in foster care age out of the system without families. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is committed to dramatically increasing the number of adoptions from foster care. The Foundation commends all employers who recognize the priceless time needed at home when a child joins their forever family.

    The complete Top 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplace list can be viewed here. The Foundation also recognizes employers by size, industry, best leave and foster care benefits. The 2018 survey will open in January.

    About us:
    The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is a national nonprofit public charity dedicated exclusively to finding permanent homes for the more than 140,000 children waiting in North America’s foster care systems. Created by Wendy’s® founder Dave Thomas who was adopted, the Foundation implements evidence-based, results-driven national service programs, foster care adoption awareness campaigns and innovative grantmaking. To learn more, visit davethomasfoundation.org or call 1-800-ASK-DTFA.

    The Wendy’s Company – Forever Family:
    The Wendy’s Company was the original advocate of the Adoption-Friendly Workplace program. The company put in place robust workplace adoption benefits more than 25 years ago. In 2016, The Wendy’s Company was awarded Forever Family status, which is an emeritus position on the Top 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplace list that recognizes their continued commitment to these crucial benefits.

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