Durable Goods creates poignant PSA for adopting teens

(Courtesy Durable Goods)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), AdoptUSKids, and the Ad Council today launched new emotional public service advertisements (PSAs) that encourage prospective parents to adopt teens from foster care. Created by Durable Goods, the PSAs are inspired by the stories of real adoptive families that highlight how rewarding adoption is for both parents and teens. 

“Our goal for these new PSAs is to continue to share poignant and emotional stories as genuine as the teens and parents who inspired them. Through these films, we can help prospective parents see the rewards that come with adopting teens from foster care: a lifetime of memories and experiences that both parents and children benefit from,” said Michelle Hillman, Chief Campaign Development Officer of the Ad Council. 

According to the most recent Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) data, teens (13–18 years of age) constituted 21% of the children/youth waiting to be adopted in the foster care system, but account for only 10% of those adopted. Teenagers in foster care can face a particularly challenging time getting adopted and may wait up to twice as long to achieve permanency than younger children.

“These exciting new PSAs demonstrate to prospective parents that adopting a teenager means experiencing all of the love, joys, challenges, and rewards of parenting. Teens never outgrow the need for a healthy family, and many teens who are in foster care especially benefit from the love, support, and stability that adoption can provide. Parents, teenagers, siblings, extended family, and communities all benefit when parents adopt a teenager and begin a new chapter of their family’s story together,” said Aysha E. Schomburg, Associate Commissioner, Children’s Bureau.

Many prospective parents look forward to big life moments, such as seeing a child take their first steps or celebrating their first day of school, but oftentimes don’t think of the rewards that can come with raising a teen. 

Developed by Durable Goods, the new PSAs are an extension of the campaign’s “You Can’t Imagine the Reward” platform and showcase the positive impact teens and their adoptive parents have on one another. Both spots direct audiences to visit AdoptUSKids.org to learn more about adopting a teen from foster care.

One PSA, “Portrait,” highlights some of the small moments that can build up to a lifetime of rewards, such as exploring new interests and creating memories together as a family. Watch below:

A second PSA, “Lucky Ones,” emphasizes the rewards of family bonding and showcases how families can celebrate new milestones such as high school graduations.


 “This was such a special project,” said Meghan Frederico, Durable Goods Director. “I spent six months working closely with the team to research, concept, and script these films, and it all began by speaking with families who had adopted teens from foster care. These conversations ran the gamut from tear-jerking to hilarious, and it was important to me that our work captured that full spectrum of emotion. Not just the emotional resonance of their stories, but also the vitality, joy, and spirit of these families.”

Per the Ad Council’s model, the PSAs will run in time and space donated by the media. The campaign is supported by the longtime agency of record MMI Agency, who is extending the reach of the latest creative by securing donated media placements.

Since the initial launch of the campaign in 2004, the campaign has received more than $735 million in donated media support across television, radio, print, out-of-home and digital media. 


CLIENT: Ad Council

  • VP, Group Campaign Director: Cece Wedel
  • Campaign Director: Mary Zost
  • Campaign Manager: Milan Genovese
  • Assistant Campaign Manager: Diego Villegas



  • Director: Meghan Frederico
  • Co-Writer: Taylor Kephart
  • DP: Jon Peter
  • Executive Producer: Rebecca Wray
  • Producer: Kimberly Estrada
  • Production Designer: David Dreyer
  • Wardrobe Stylist: Melanie Sommer
  • HMU: Simona Vankova, Juliet Cesario

EDIT: Little Farm

  • Editor: Kristin Yawata
  • Executive Producer: Gavin Carroll 
  • Producer: Ben Ferren
  • Assistant Editor: Herbert Moran
  • Finishing/Conform: Thom Reimerink
  • Finishing/Conform Assist: Danielle Fowler
  • Mixer: Shaun Jacobs
  • Composer: Daniel Rutka

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