November is National Adoption Month, and an emotional new PSA is shedding light on just how many teenagers in America are in need of forever homes.
The Ad Council ad, which comes in collaboration with AdoptUSKids, features the heartwarming progression of a foster child named Jason who slowly but surely makes his mark on his adoptive family.
In the clip, Jason arrives at his new home with only a backpack, taking note of the family photos adorning the wall that show off his new parents and their children.
He initially watches his new siblings play soccer in the front yard from the stoop, and appears reluctant to chat during family dinners.
But soon, he’s joining his brother and sister in soccer games, and the entire family is enjoying ice cream together.
Eventually, Jason enters the front door and notices the same family photos from earlier, only this time, he’s in them.
The realization that he’s become a vital part of the family prompts him to give his new mom an emotional hug as the words, “Learn more about adopting a teen from foster care. You can’t imagine the reward,” hit the screen.
The video’s caption says that there are more than 125,000 children in the U.S. foster care system waiting to be adopted, but that older children often wait twice as long to be adopted as younger children.
Of the 5,000 kids actively listed on AdoptUSKids.org, 65 percent are 13-19 years old, according to the organization.
As part of the same ad campaign, AdoptUSKids also released a video showing real people who had been adopted as teenagers reading special messages written for them by the families that took them in.
“You really have done as much for us as you think we’ve done for you,” a family tells Dylan, who was adopted at 16 years old.