We Have One Mission


to dramatically increase the number
of adoptions from foster care.

Give the gift of a forever family


Dave Thomas Foundation For Adoption

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption has one mission: to dramatically increase the number of adoptions from foster care. Founded in 1992 by Wendy’s® founder Dave Thomas who was adopted, the Foundation believes that every child deserves a loving family. We are North America’s only national nonprofit charity dedicated solely to finding permanent homes for the more than 117,000 children waiting to be adopted in the U.S. and 30,000 waiting in Canada.

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About Foster Care Adoption

Children enter foster care through no fault of their own, because they have been abused, neglected or abandoned. These children are victims and those who become available for adoption deserve our best efforts to find them a safe, loving and permanent family. As our founder, Dave Thomas, always said,

“These children are not someone else’s responsibility. They are our responsibility.”

Right now, there are more than 430,000 children in foster care in the United States. More than 117,000 of them are available for adoption. That means 117,000 children need our help so that they can grow up in a loving and supportive family. Each year, more than 20,000 children age out of foster care in the United States. The Foundation won’t stop until every waiting child has a loving family.

Once a child and family are matched, there are many steps that must take place before the adoption is finalized, but once the adoption is approved by the court, the child is permanently a part of their new family. This means that adoptive parents have the same rights and responsibilities as parents whose children are born biologically. It also means children who are adopted have all the same emotional, social, legal and familial benefits of biological children.

You can learn more about how to adopt from foster care in our Step-by-Step Guide to Adoption.

Step-By-Step Guide

Did you know that in the United States:

The average age of a child in foster care is 8.5 years old.

The average age of a child waiting to be adopted is almost 8 years old.

On average, children wait at least three years to be adopted from foster care.

Every year, more than 20,000 children age out of foster care in the United States leaving them at a higher risk for negative outcomes like homelessness, unemployment and lack of education.

No child should linger in care or leave the system without a permanent family of his or her own. See what a difference a family can make:

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Finding Forever Families

A DTFA Public Service Announcement

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