American Foster Kids Hold Out Hope

The Brantwood Children's Homein Montgomery, Ala., is a place for kids from families broken beyond repair. They're all between 10 and 21 years old. All are available for adoption and looking for a loving home.

Will's a fifth-grader in his seventh school. He wonders what kind of family will adopt him, and how it will happen.

Too often, it doesn't.

CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann reports there haven't been any adoptions at Brantwood in the past four years.

Brantwood Children's Home

"It pierces your heart," says Kim Herbert, the executive director of Brantwood. "That's what we want for them."

Adoption awareness has been heightened by the Haiti earthquake -- which created thousands of new orphans. In the last eight weeks, more than 1,000 of them have come to America for adoption -- more than the last three years combined.

It's a new chance many Brantwood kids will never get.

"It's been too long for them, and that hope is gone," Herbert said. "They count on themselves."

Adoption Resources
Alabama DHR Adoption Website
Child Welfare League of America
Adoption Institute
Adopt Us Kids

In 2008, America's foster care system had 123,000 kids available for adoption. Just 45 percent -- 55,000 -- of them were adopted.

Typically the older they get, the worse their chances it will ever happen. Many children are also battling the scars of mental or physical abuse.

Many states and agencies post albums of available children.

"Meet these kids," Herbert said, "and learn their hearts. See their needs and what they're after."

Jack's after a second chance. At 13, he's the baby in a fractured family of nine. He says he's praying for a home of his own.

They all are praying for a family - and so far that is just a dream.

  • Mark Strassmann

    Mark Strassmann was named CBS News Transportation correspondent in August 2011. He has been a CBS News correspondent since January 2001, and is based in the Atlanta bureau.