20 in 2020 is giving twenty Michigan teens the opportunity to create their own In-Depth Profiles in 2020, so they can speak directly to potential adoptive families.

In-Depth Profiles are creative storytelling projects that give older youth in foster care the leading voice in finding their adoptive family. Youth are empowered to be decision-makers and creators, choosing what they want to share as a part of the family search process. Over a period of time, youth work one-on-one with MARE staff, from initial brainstorm to a final review, to create videos, photos, podcasts, narratives, artwork, or anything else that they feel best represents them. Their finished content is published here, to be shared widely with potential adoptive families.

No two In-Depth Profiles look the same, because every youth gets to collaborate on and decide what they want to share, and how they want to share it. The results are authentic, original and inspiring.

In-Depth Profiles were originally piloted and launched by Northwest Adoption Exchange (NWAE) in Washington State, to give older youth a more active and empowered role in adoption recruitment. Since the launch of In-Depth Profiles in 2017, NWAE has worked with over 100 teens and seen substantial, measured impacts on recruitment when youth create and publish their own In-Depth Profile.

The Family Finding and Engagement Initiative brought MARE and NWAE together in a formal partnership, as well the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), to launch In-Depth Profiles in Michigan in 2020.

The Family Finding and Engagement Initiative is being funded by the Children’s Bureau as part of the national Adoption Call to Action to reduce the number of children and youth waiting to be adopted. Four models with promising practice were selected to be replicated across the country. AdoptUSKids was selected to oversee the initiative and to provide resources and supports including an evaluation of the initiative. This website was funded by the Children’s Bureau, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, under grant #90CO1133. The contents of this website are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Children’s Bureau.

We are so excited this partnership has been made possible. We are working with youth every day to bring their In-Depth Profiles to life, so families can hear directly from them - and be inspired by their own words and creativity.

And if you’ve been inspired by the youth storytellers featured as a part of 20 in 2020, click here to go to MARE’s website and get connected with more info about adopting from foster care in Michigan.