Adoptive Family: DNA Doesn’t Define a Family—Love Does

Frankie is 14 years old and lives with his sister, brothers, and moms. He and his sister were adopted when they were 2 years old and 4 years old, respectively. He loves spending time with his aunts, uncles, and cousins and loves being part of a big family.

Publication year: 2016
Capacity Building Center for States

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Melinda and her wife became foster parents in 2002 to provide respite to a young boy in residential care. They now have four children, including Frankie. All of their children have been, or are in the process of being, adopted through the foster care system.

Questions to Promote Discussion

  • How does foster care impede normal development?
  • How does this impact children and youth?
  • Frankie talks about belonging. What does it mean to him?
  • Despite system impediments, what can families do to create normal experiences?
  • How can the system support the healthy development of children of all ages whose care is its responsibility?

Print these materials for use in your next training.

DNA Doesn't Define Family, Love Does

About Normalcy and the Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard

Voices of Lived Experience Tags

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