Cody Saintgnue

Cody Saintgnue

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Overcoming the Odds to Find Acceptance and Build Success

Cody Saintgnue, (@CodySaintgnue) American Actor most famous for his role as Brett Talbott in MTV’s Teen Wolf, was placed in foster care several times prior to meeting Brenda, the woman he now calls “Mom.” Cody talks about the experience, the never before recounted moment he knew he was home, the journey of overcoming adversity and extreme odds to become a model and actor which began for him at the age of 12.

You’ll hear his initial shocked response to Foster Care statistics, and get an inside glimpse of the profound love and respect he has for his Mom. It was great having him on the podcast and talking with him about how he sees his success, the people in “his Village” that helped him get there – including his first crush – and the support he’s had along the way.

Cody has also acted on television in House M.D., Southland, Criminal Minds and America’s Most Wanted: America Fights back, as well as modeled in several internationally-renown magazines. His fans on social media love him, and we are convinced you will too.


Favorite Drink

Ketel One and Soda with a lime

6:09 Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and Cody’s earliest memories of foster care and adoption

10:04 Foster Care/Adoption Statistics

Provided by Molly Rampe Thomas, Choice Network, Inc. 

There are 36 waiting adoptive families for every one baby available for adoption – yet there are 100,000 kids in the foster care waiting to be adopted. 

In Ohio there are 15,909 kids in the system today with 3,159 waiting to be adopted. Director of ODJFS. 

Nationally every 120 seconds a child is removed from their home and is entered into foster care. Once in care, the child on average faces up to 7 moves.

9 is the average age of kids in care.

21 is the average # of months a child will be in each foster home.

40% of children are in the system for more than 3 years.

About 23,000 kids a year age out of the foster care system. and

  • Of these, one in five will be homeless after age 18.
  • Only half will be employed by age 24.
  • Just 3 percent will earn a college degree.
  • 34% will have attended more than 5 schools during their time in care.
  • 71 percent will be pregnant by age 21.
  • One in four will experience PTSD.
  • 25% will end up in prison within 2 years of exiting the system.

Kids in foster care are 10 times more likely to be sexually abused.

There are 4 million reports of child maltreatment in the US each year involving more than 7 million children.

25% of people in foster care were once in prison.

80% of death row inmates are former foster kids.

20% of kids in residential treatment centers are former foster kids / adoptees.

Nationally 25% of foster children are diagnosed as having PTSD – which is double the number of veterans.

African American children represent more than 28% of the kids in foster care but only 14% of the US child population.

Children with a diagnosed disability of any kind, including learning disability, are 2 times more likely to age out of the system (no permanent family).

Families living in poverty have a significantly higher likelihood of experiencing crises. Poverty is the greatest threat to child well-being and the best predictor of abuse and neglect. Nearly half of families who have their children removed from their homes have trouble paying for basic necessities.

The recommended number of cases for a social worker is 17. In some states, the number is three or four times that number.

Children who are adopted from foster care:

  • Are less likely to live below the poverty level.
  • Are more likely to receive adequate health coverage and care.
  • Are more likely to have stable education and housing.

Most adopted children are in families that provide experiences that, according to developmental research, are important for child well-being. In some instances, adopted children fare better in this regard than children in the general population. For example, young adopted children (ages 0-5) are more likely to be read to every day (68 versus 48 percent), to be sung or told stories to every day (73 versus 59 percent), and to eat meals with their families six or more days per week (56 versus 52 percent. Older adopted children (ages 6-17) are more likely than older children in general to participate in organized activities outside of school (85 and 81 percent, respectively).

Cody, you are the exception to the rule, how?

14:54 Brenda, Can I start calling you Mom now?

15:08 cue tears

17:48 Who comprises Cody’s village? Brenda, Ron Jeeves, Clay Banks, Taylor Brooks, Martin Barter, Jeff Davis, Dan Studney, and friends.

20:15 Why did Cody get into acting/entertaining?  To impress his first crush. Guess who that is?

25:13 Brenda says “If you want to go to LA you have to prove to me that you can entertain.”

27:38 What was it like to take that leap of faith and move across country to chase your dream?

31:50 Teen Wolf – the big break

35:20 I’m a visionary, but not in that egotistical way.

36:31 If you could reconnect with one old friend, who would it be?

38:25 Face your darkest demons.  That thing you don’t like about yourself is beautiful.


Instagram: @CodySaintgnue
Twitter: @CodySaintgnue