DCF Press Release


State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Charlie Crist
Governor

Robert A. Butterworth
Secretary


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Governor's Press Office
July 2, 2008 (850) 488-5394

New TV and Radio Spots Promote Adoption of
Teens, Sibling Groups, Kids with Disabilities

~ Governor’s “Explore Adoption” Campaign Puts Face on Public Adoption,
Encourages More Families to Consider Adopting Kids in Care~

TALLAHASSEE – Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp today unveiled a series of statewide English and Spanish television spots promoting the benefits of public adoption. The spots are part of Governor Charlie Crist’s “Explore Adoption” initiative, a statewide public awareness campaign aimed at finding permanent homes for children who often wait the longest – those who are older than age 8, African American, part of a sibling group or have a physical or emotional disability.

In one spot, a ticking clock punctuates the silence as a middle-aged husband and wife gaze at each other across a bland dinner table. “House grown too quiet?” asks the narrator. The answer, “Add kids.” That’s the message of one in a series of new television and radio spots aimed at changing the way people think of adoption and encouraging them to consider adopting a teenager, disabled child or sibling group. The spots intentionally feature older parents, empty nesters and single parents in an effort to find homes for the children in care who typically wait the longest for adoptive families.

“We have experienced parents with grown kids who have more to give and who aren’t done being parents,” said Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp. “When people hear the word adoption, they think babies. These ads aim to reframe that mindset to showcase the benefits of adopting older kids.”

The ticking clock spot ends with the smiling couple walking hand-in-hand behind a teenage brother and sister chasing a dog – a joyful family scene that freezes into a still photo that appears on the front of a family album.

“The spots are different in that they lead with the benefits to the parents, rather than the needs of the kids,” said Jim Kallinger, Florida’s chief child advocate. “When we talk to adoptive parents, a common theme we hear is how fulfilling the experience has been despite all the challenges.”

Another spot features a father’s flashback when his wife brings up the topic of having more children. After recalling a laughing baby flinging a dollop of baby food on his shirt and tie, the father shakes off the memory and says, “I don’t know.” The wife goes on to show her husband a teenager featured on the State’s searchable Web site, adoptFlorida.org, who likes football “just like you.”

“Helping a teenager get off to a good start in life or making it possible for brothers and sisters to grow up together has got to be one of the most rewarding things you can do with your life,” said Department of Children and Families Secretary Bob Butterworth. “We want to challenge people to consider making this their life’s greatest legacy.”

That message is driven home by a spot depicting an African-American woman reflecting on her life’s accomplishments – graduated top of her class, raised two children, built a successful home business – only to see her face light up as she is reminded of her newest accomplishment “new mom,” when her adopted teenage daughter arrives home from school.

The television spots – five in English, three in Spanish – and four radio spots in English and Spanish will begin airing statewide this month on network affiliate and cable television and radio stations. All can be viewed at the “Explore Adoption” Web site, www.adoptFlorida.org.

At any given time, 1,000 children in care are seeking an adoptive home. Most of the children who wait the longest are older than age 8, African American, part of a sibling group or have a physical or emotional disability. Launched in May, the Governor’s “Explore Adoption” initiative aims to find permanent homes for these children.

For additional information on public adoption and the “Explore Adoption” initiative, visit www.adoptFlorida.org or call 1-800-96-ADOPT.


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