COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 24, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With more than 30,000 children in Canada waiting to be adopted, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is excited to see that more Canadians are seriously considering foster care adoption, and are also embracing the idea that every child is adoptable.

According to a recent survey conducted by Nielson on behalf of the Foundation, 26 percent of Canadians who haven’t adopted are considering it, up 5 percent since 2012. Of those individuals, more than half (58%) are considering foster care adoption. This is encouraging news as more and more children enter the foster care system each year. Giving more hope to the Foundation is the discovery that of the Canadians considering foster care adoption, more than 66 percent are serious about it, which is an 11% increase over 2012 and could result in more adoptive homes for waiting children.

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is unique in that it focuses on finding adoptive parents for children in foster care, specifically children who are at risk of aging out without being adopted, such as those with special needs, sibling groups who would benefit from being adopted together and older children who have spent years in foster care.

Five-year-old Maria fit into all of those groups. She is on the autism spectrum, had spent four years in foster care and had a biological brother who was also waiting to be adopted in a different city.

The siblings never met until an adoption recruiter with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption helped Liz LeBrun of Guelph, Ontario give Maria a permanent home. “I know how great the need is, especially for kids who have special needs,” said LeBrun. “I saw Maria’s profile, and because I have a background in special education, I knew I could offer her some things that would be helpful to her.” Liz went on to also adopt Maria’s biological brother.

“Our caseworkers do an extensive analysis of these children, talking to their teachers, social workers who’ve had interactions with them and even former foster families, trying to match the child with the perfect family,” said Rita Soronen, President & CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

The Foundation is on a mission to place as many children in loving homes as possible and to spread the word that every child is adoptable, and their message seems to be working.

In fact, more than 85 percent of Canadians understand that children in foster care are victims of abuse and neglect and are in the system due to no fault of their own. But the most exciting finding is that 54 percent agree that every child is adoptable, up from 49 percent in 2012. The belief that “Unadoptable is Unacceptable” has been at the core of the Foundation’s message and awareness campaigns.

“In many provinces, there has been a drive toward enhanced policies on behalf of children who’ve been abused or neglected and are in foster care,” said Soronen. “Those efforts, combined with increased awareness about adoption opportunities are making a huge difference in the lives of many Canadian children.”

Liz LeBrun says the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption left such an impact on her family that when they were changing Andy’s last name, they also chose a new middle name, Thomas, to honor Dave Thomas and his vision of a loving family for every child.

“The LeBrun family really exemplifies the findings of this survey and the mission of our Foundation,” said Soronen. “These children are just like any other child. They’ve simply had a rough start in life, but they are available for adoption and deserve to find a permanent family and a safe home.”

For the first time, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption also included survey questions about attitudes toward foster care in general. The results are available on the Foundation’s website.

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption Canada is a nonprofit public charity dedicated exclusively to finding permanent homes for the more than 30,000 children waiting in Canada’s foster care system. Created by Wendy’s® founder Dave Thomas who was adopted, the Foundation implements evidence-based, results-driven national service programs, foster care adoption awareness campaigns and advocacy initiatives. To learn more, visit or call 1-800-ASK-DTFA.

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Mary Ellen Smalley

Megan Stewart