Are you a potential Ampersand Family?

Read and reflect on these questions to find out whether you have what it takes:

  • I like teenagers.
  • It’s okay if  my kid doesn’t call me “mom” or “dad” or yells “you’re not my mom,” occasionally. Loudly.
  • I can handle hearing swear words. Or not.
  • I tweet or follow someone who does.
  • Sometimes I laugh at situations that make others walk away in frustration.
  • I can imagine welcoming new members into my current family, including a youth’s biological relatives and other important connections.
  • I remember doing dumb things when I was a teenager.
  • I know I will need help if I adopt a teen and I am eager to learn.
  • My family is often more like Ozzy Osborne’s than Ozzie and Harriet’s.
  • I know that I will not die if my grandmother’s teacup gets broken.
  • I have friends who are different than I am as far as race, culture, income, politics or other important things.
  • I am resilient and cool headed even in the face of frustration.
  • Thinking of teaching a teen to drive doesn’t make me want to cry.
  • I have done my own therapeutic work and have a therapist I can return to if my own issues are stirred up.
  • I know how to not take things personally even if they hurt my feelings.
  • Part of why I want to adopt is because I know teens who age out of foster care face terrible outcomes, and I want to be part of the solution.
  • I am able to help a teen explore spirituality and/or religion knowing she may not believe what I believe.
  • I know I will need help if I adopt a teen and I am eager to learn.
  • If I have a partner, we are on the same page about adopting and parenting a traumatized teen.
  • I want to join a community of people who have adopted teens and support each other.
  • I have the capacity to see the hurt and trauma in my child’s eyes and to be an emotionally-attuned partner as she heals.
  • I’ve heard of Instagram, and I’ve used Snapchat.
  • I know what sexting is, and I have some idea what to do if my kid does it.
  • I know how to fix a hole in sheetrock.
  • I like surprises.
  • I am willing to parent my teen according to his needs, even if he is 17 years old and sometimes needs to be parented like he is 12.
  • I’m intrigued with the idea of getting to know my kid’s birth family; and I can support my kid’s efforts to navigate those complicated relationships.
  • I know what SOGIE means, or will go look it up.
  • I know that I will need help if I adopt a teen and I am eager to learn (yes, we realize this is listed 3 times..get the point?).
  • I know how to say “no” in the face of extreme pressure. Often I say “yes.”
  • It’s okay if the kid I adopt keeps her last name.
  • I like hugs, but can live without them sometimes.
  • Music is okay even if I cannot understand a word they are singing.
  • I have a network of friends and family who will support my plans to adopt a teen.
  • I have been stubborn or pushy.
  • I know that adopting means unconditional commitment and that I will be my teen’s parent forever no matter whether:
    • He goes to  college or struggles to finish high school,
    • She finds a fulfilling career or changes jobs frequently,
    • He gets arrested and goes to jail or becomes a police officer,
    • She is ready to live on her own at 18 or 26,
    • He makes someone pregnant (or she becomes pregnant) before being ready to parent,
    • She becomes addicted or never uses at all,
    • He develops a mental health issue,
    • She leaves home to live with her birth mom. . . and then wants to come back.

If you answered “yes” to most of the statements above, you just might be a good fit for adopting a teen through Ampersand Families. Learn more about our process or contact us.


Even if adoption isn’t right for you, you can still be part of the teen permanency solution. Learn about all the ways you can help or make an online donation today.

Why choose Ampersand Families?

Jen and Michelle spoke the truth about Permanency!! Explained what is and is not permanent for the child.  Best workshop of the conference!

National CASA Conference workshop participant

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