Youth Stories

In My Skin

By Justice Stevens Justice Stevens was adopted transracially with his sister. He shares his thoughts below about how the transracial placement affected him and what his parents did—and do—that help. When I was eight I was trans­racially adopted. My parents are white and I’m Black. We lived in a small white suburban town. The number… Read more

Categories: Parenting, Transracial, Youth, Youth Stories

Both Sides of the System: The Cycle of Adoption

Born in 1985 to a teenage mother, Ashley was in Florida’s foster care system for almost a decade before she was adopted. She is the author of the international best-seller Three Little Words, the story of her life in care and her adoption, which is being made into a major motion picture. In 2015, she… Read more

Categories: Older Youth Adoption, Parenting, Youth Stories
girl drawing

Depression in My Eyes: This I Believe

by Catherine, 2015 I often dread the days where I have to get up in the morning, and pretend that everything is alright, and that I hopefully survive the day without one negative thought, or thinking about my unspeakable past. There is a miserable place that depression takes me to after gaining full dominance of… Read more

Categories: Youth, Youth Stories

We Can Help Create Youth Networks!

NACAC is able to help organizations in the US and Canada start or enhance support or advocacy networks led by and serving youth people who have experienced adoption or foster care. Our services include providing technical assistance on leadership development and program planning. In addition to technical assistance on youth advocacy and support networks, NACAC… Read more

Categories: Advocacy, Youth, Youth Advocacy, Youth Stories

NACAC’s Youth Advisory Team

In 2016, NACAC created a Youth Advisory Team to ensure that we can highlight and learn from young people who have experienced foster care and adoption. In addition to advising NACAC and supporting our work to enhance youth advocacy efforts in the US and Canada, the Youth Advisory Team is available to consult with others… Read more

Categories: Advocacy, Youth, Youth Stories

Sample Stories, Artwork, and More from Young People

We at NACAC believe in the power of expressing your lived experience as an advocacy and support tool. We encourage adoptees and young people who are or who have been in foster care to share their stories to make a difference in the lives of others. We also embrace the diversity of ways people can… Read more

Categories: Advocacy, Youth, Youth Stories

Ways to Share Your Story

We at NACAC believe there is tremendous in shared experience and personal advocacy. By telling your story about foster care and adoption, you can change the child welfare system inspire others to get help or speak up help other young people know they are not alone change public perceptions of foster and adopted youth heal… Read more

Categories: Advocacy, Youth, Youth Stories

Sharing Your Story

When young people are telling their stories in advocacy efforts, it’s incredibly important to ensure that they know what to share and, more importantly, what not to share. Explore this section of our site to: Read about different ways to share your story Read and view sample stories, videos, and artwork from young people Strategic… Read more

Categories: Advocacy, Youth, Youth Stories

Sample Quotes and Stories

Below you will find a number of quotes and stories that are designed to demonstrate the importance and efficacy of post-permanency support. Use these and your own quotes and stories to bolster your advocacy message. Quotes When looking for quotes, seek those that are focused on the child’s need and demonstrate an outcome (adoption or… Read more

Categories: Advocacy, How to Advocate For Support, Sample Quotes and Stories, Sharing Personal Stories, Youth Stories

Teens Need Permanency and Purpose

by Catherine Sanders I came into the system in 2008 when I was 13 years old. At that time, my case plan was reunification. I knew from the start that I didn’t want to return to my biological mother. I constantly told my workers and everyone else involved in the case that, but no one… Read more

Categories: Achieving Permanency, Adoption Practice, Older Youth Adoption, Youth Stories
two teenaged girls

Why We Need to Prioritize Permanency

Lexie entered foster care when she was 15 years old and aged out without finding a foster or adoptive family. She has become a vocal advocate for finding families for all children and youth in care. The article below is adapted from remarks Lexie gave at a briefing on Capitol Hill in September 2014 titled… Read more

Categories: Achieving Permanency, Adoption Practice, Youth Stories
Father and son

Adoption = Forever and Always

Think back to when you were leaving high school and starting college. What did you do in the summer? Attend cookouts and other events with your family? Sleep in and hang out with friends? Work to earn money for school? What about the 20,000 youth in foster care who age out each year. How do… Read more

Categories: Achieving Permanency, Adoption Practice, Advocacy, Older Youth Adoption, Youth Advocacy, Youth Stories
Person sitting on a wall

My Life: From Rage to Reason

From the Winter 2010 issue of Adoptalk  Hello! My name is Serena and I’d like to take you through the journey of my life so far. Unfortunately, it didn’t start out very well. I was born in Tennessee and doctors needed to detoxify me right away because of the drugs and alcohol in my system… Read more

Categories: Disabilities & Challenges, Parenting, Youth Stories

Our Mission

The North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) supports, educates, inspires, and advocates so adoptive families thrive and every child in foster care has a permanent, safe, loving family.


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The North American Council on Adoptable Children