COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A survey finds that more Americans are considering adoption and foster care adoption as a way to grow their family.

The survey, commissioned by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, found 37% of adults in the United States who have not adopted have considered adoption, up from 25% from 2017. And of those individuals, 82% have considered foster care adoption, the survey also found.

“We’re really excited about [that statistic] because there are children in Ohio who are waiting to be adopted in foster care,” said Rita Soronen, president and CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

“Our job is to now get that information out there so that those who are considering might actually make that next step and begin thinking about jumping into the system to adopt,” she said.

Across the state of Ohio, there are about 3,000 children in foster care, who have been freed for adoption and are simply waiting for families. They have all of the same wishes and dreams and hopes and capacity as any other child. They simply need that safety net and family now to get them on their feet and moving forward.

Rita Soronen, President & CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

The foundation, based in central Ohio, commissions the survey every five years, Soronen said, to assess “Americans’ attitudes toward foster care and foster care adoption.”

“That allows us to understand where are the areas we need to get more information out, or perhaps, to solve some misperceptions that exist out there,” she said.

Misperceptions such as older children in the foster care system.

“One statistic that still concerns us is about 51% of Americans think older youth are in care because they’ve done something wrong, because they’re juvenile delinquents, so that can be a barrier to people saying, ‘I want to adopt an older youth, but maybe I’m a little hesitant to do that,'” Soronen said. “These children are there because they need families because they’ve been harmed. And we need to make sure and step up and get them adopted.”

CLICK HERE to read the full survey on U.S. Adoption and Foster Care Attitudes.

Learn more about foster care in Franklin County: HERE.

Watch the full interview with Rita Soronen in the video player below.