Several national publications rank Virginia within the top five for raising a child or providing a decent education but when it comes to finding an orphaned child a permanent home before they turn 18, the organization Voices for Virginia's Children ranks the Commonwealth 49th.
It's why the McDonnell administration is kicking off a series of events throughout the state to help promote adoption.
At any given time one-thousand Virginia foster kids are eligible for adoption. But according to Secretary of the Commonwealth Janet Kelly, while there are plenty of people considering it, many kids "age out". She says it's mainly because prospective parents are focused on adopting the very limited number of younger kids:
"Out of four children that age out of the foster care system, within two years, two of them will be incarcerated and one of them will be homeless, so that only leaves one out of four that have any chance of any real hope of what we would consider a decent life."
This is why the administration launched the "Virginia Adopts: Campaign for 1000" initiative, with the goal to match 1000 adoptive families with 1000 children in the foster system. Advocates are traveling throughout the state to talk about the adoption process including how kids are paired with families, the home study process, the benefits of adopting an older child, and how long it typically takes.