Actor Cody Saintgnue Shares His Adoption Story

Posted on November 17, 2020

An actor, producer, model and advocate, Cody has appeared on hit television series, such as Criminal Minds, House M.D. and Teen Wolf. He is sharing his adoption story to speak up for children still waiting in foster care.

My name is Cody Saintgnue. Through my work in the entertainment industry, I’ve been fortunate to collaborate with incredible networks and brands and have traveled the globe for endeavors that are dear to my heart.

You may be wondering why I have partnered with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, and the answer is simple. They are working every day to find forever families for children in foster care who need our help. Children, like me.

This is my story…

I come from an environment of addicts. At the age of two, I suffered an accidental eye injury. An adult who was high wasn’t able to pay attention to the little boy walking nearby, resulting in a cigarette landing in my eye. To this day, I am legally blind in one eye.

I witnessed the physical abuse of my biological mother at the hands of strange men. I was malnourished, and I lacked an education. The home I was born into neglected the basic things children need to survive, let alone thrive, so I was placed in foster care.

For four years, I hoped for safe, permanent home.

Cody pictured at summer camp in Ohio, 2003

Fortunately, adoption changed my journey when I was 12 years old.

When I met my mom, Brenda, I knew I was finally in safe hands. Something inside of me knew it was going to last.

Brenda did everything she could to bring a sense of normalcy and comfort to me, even going along with my fantasy that we would one day return to my old home to retrieve my pit bull, Liger, who I was forced to leave behind.

As we stood in line at the pet store purchasing food for him, I looked up at her and said, “I think I’m going to be with you for a real long time. Do you mind if I start calling you ‘mom’ now?”

It was only my second day with Brenda, and I will never forget her answer: “You can call me anything you want, Cody.”

Brenda gave me something that every child deserves — a loving, forever family.

Cody and his mom, Brenda

My life before adoption might seem surprising or shocking, but the sad reality is that my experience is very common. In fact, more than 120,000 children, through no fault of their own, are waiting to be adopted from foster care, right now.

My life experiences have shown me that love is a choice, and family includes the loved ones you choose to make your family.

I will never forget where I came from and how the gift of adoption helped me to get to where I am today.

I hope you will join me in supporting the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption in any capacity that resonates with you.


Every day, more than 50 youth, like Cody, age out of foster care with no permanent family and no safety net. Donate today to change the journey for these young people before it’s too late.


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