Photo of Chelsey and her adoptive family

Kinship Adoption: Chelsey’s Story

Chelsey just got braces, and she’ll be getting her driver’s license soon, too. She loves singing in the school choir, and she’s having a blast in photography class. Chelsey is leading a normal teenage life, a blessing we often take for granted.

Her early life was unstable due to family substance abuse and other tragedies. She entered the foster care system, and after nine placements and two failed reunifications, PromiseShip was able to connect her with her grandmother through kinship care. Unfortunately, her grandmother unexpectedly passed away, forcing Chelsey to return to foster care as a teenager.

Finding a stable and loving home for a teenage child is vital for their future success, but they are less likely to get adopted than younger children. Fortunately, kinship care is an excellent solution for children of all ages. In 2017, PromiseShip maintained 61% placement of children in kinship care, 40% above the national average.

We used our family finding process to connect Chelsey with her aunt and uncle as a potential adoptive family. Through kinship care, she lived with her aunt and uncle, Misty and Jerry, periodically throughout her childhood. They became a rare source of stability in her life.

In July 2017, Jerry and Misty finalized their adoption of Chelsey. By that time, they were already a loving family unit. They even created an inside joke showing how close they’d become—Chelsey calls them her maunt (mom + aunt), duncle (dad + uncle), and brousin (brother + cousin).

Kinship care led to Chelsey’s adoption, but it opened doors for so much more. She joined a family who knew and loved her from birth, stayed in the same schools with her friends, and maintains close contact with her siblings and other extended family.