Teens among hundreds of Utah kids who need foster, adoptive parents

SALT LAKE CITY – There are hundreds of Utah children who need foster or adoptive homes and many of them are teenagers.

Linda and Derrel Melton adopted Amanda three years ago when she was 17. Now she has a family of her own and says she was lucky that the Meltons cared enough to find her and then deal with her Asberger’s.

“It was frustrating and at times, I got down. I had a few failed adoptions; people changed their minds or weren’t quite sure about it and if that’s what they wanted to do,” Amanda said.

Today, the Meltons have four biological children and sixteen adopted children, but the teens they mentored as foster parents are also considered part of their family. They say it’s a journey that’s been rewarding but not without hard work.

He came home and he asked me and I said well if we can help just one person in our lifetime, that would be awesome. Little did we know that 22 years later and 35 teenage daughters later, we’d still be doing fostering,” Linda Melton said.

“If parents are willing to give the time and stay with the child regardless of some of the trauma that they have to release, then you can reach a point at which you gain that trust,” Derrel Melton said.

For more about adoption, visit www.utdcfsadopt.org. For more about foster care, visit www.utahfostercare.org

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