The promise of the American Dream is supposed to be available to each and every citizen, regardless of personal circumstances. Essential to the pursuit of this dream is the love of family, in order to navigate the trials and tribulations of adolescence and entry into adulthood.
President Donald Trump, understanding the importance of a loving family, recently announced the issuance of an Executive Order that will enhance America’s child welfare system and promote permanency for children in the foster care system.
Adoption is a special blessing. I should know. My husband John and I adopted our beautiful son Samuel, who has Down syndrome. I thank God every day for bringing my Samuel into our lives.
The president wants to protect, and encourage, stories like ours.
The president’s order encourages efforts to build new partnerships between public, private, faith-based and community organizations to help keep families together. The president seeks to take deliberate action to find children, not just a family, but a permanent family.
There are currently more than 400,000 children and youth in foster care in the United States, with many waiting years to find a true home with a family. Unfortunately, each year — in what is one of the most heartbreaking statistics imaginable — close to 20,000 of these children age out of foster care without the support of a family.
President Trump wants to change this statistic because he believes the promise of the American Dream should not be stolen from these children before they even have a fair shot.
The order specifically improves the resources available to both caregivers and children, by increasing the accessibility of trauma-specialist-informed training. Children that go through the process of adoption may feel a range of emotions, which, handled properly, can bring a family even closer together. The president wants to provide support for parents who choose to spread their love and grow their family through the adoption process and foster care.
The order also drives transparency on key statutory child welfare requirements and guides states on how best to support high-quality legal representation for parents and children.
Strengthening America’s foster care system and adoption process benefits not just vulnerable youth and parents looking to spread their love; it is a benefit to all of society. Children that age out of foster care without the support of a permanent home are shown to experience higher rates of homelessness, incarceration and unemployment.
President Trump’s commitment to ensuring the welfare of America’s children is as important a commitment as any, for a country and its leaders are judged by how it treats the most vulnerable. The president knows that the best way to protect vulnerable youth is by promoting safe, stable, loving families, and ensuring they have the ability to participate in the adoption process.
The president understands how critical it is for us, as a nation, to improve the outcomes experienced by America’s children and youth. It’s not just the right thing to do for the country as whole — it’s a moral obligation.
Every child deserves the love of a mother, a father, a family. It’s at the crux of what it means to be American — to be human.
“All children deserve a stable, supportive, and loving home in which to grow, thrive, and realize their full potential” the president said in his announcement of the Executive Order. He understands that protecting our vulnerable youth is simply the right thing to do.
And this isn’t the president’s first action to uplift America’s youth and ensure that no child is forgotten.
In February 2018, the president signed into law the landmark Family First Prevention Services Act — the most sweeping legislation to impact federal child welfare financing and programs in decades. Just last year, the president signed further legislation to encourage states to fully implement this act as quickly as feasible.
President Trump also signed into law the CARES Act, which distributed $45 million in grants to states, territories and tribes to support the child welfare needs of families impacted by coronavirus.
Thanks to President Trump’s leadership and the work of his administration, the number of children entering foster care in recent years has declined considerably, but that’s not enough. Every child counts and while a person doesn’t change the world by adopting a child, to that child—the world is changed forever.
Dr. Gina Loudon is President of Programming for America’s Voice News and National Co-Chair of Women for Trump. She also chairs a nonprofit foundation that helps families who choose life, called “They All Have Names.”