NEW CASTLE, Ind. (Nov. 8, 2013)—November is National Adoption Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness about the adoption of children and youth from foster care. Every year since 2010, Henry County has set aside a special day in November to celebrate and honor families who adopt. This year Friday, Nov. 15 has been designated ‘adoption day’ and the Henry County Department of Child Services (DCS), the Henry County Family Court and Henry County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), are collaborating to celebrate the dreams of several foster children coming true.
“It’s especially appropriate that National Adoption Awareness Month is positioned in the month of November when Americans celebrate a time of thanksgiving,” said Michael Fleming, director of the Henry County DCS office. “Adoption day, November 15, gives us policymakers, practitioners and advocates a chance to say a special ‘thanks’ to the many adoptive mothers and fathers that help their children thrive by encouraging them to aim high, work hard and make good choices that will lead to healthy and satisfying lives.”
Hon. Mary G. Willis, Judge, Henry Circuit Court 1, will preside over the adoptions beginning at 1 pm in the Henry County Justice Center.
“Henry County is honored to once again celebrate National Adoption Day with the families in our community who have opened their hearts to provide a forever family to a child,” said Judge Willis. “While those in the system work hard for the children who experience the need for family stability, it is a joy to see it achieved in a nationally recognized event such as adoption day where communities celebrate on the same day the importance of the family.”
The new adoptive families will enjoy light refreshments and special gift bags during a reception after the ceremonies, compliments of the Community Foundation Children’s Fund. For anyone interested in learning more about foster care adoptions, an adoption champion from the Children’s Bureau will also be available.
Children who stay in child welfare systems for long periods of time, or leave state care without a permanent family, can have difficulty adjusting to adulthood. Many end up homeless, incarcerated or with unplanned babies.
While special attention is given to adoptions each year during November, DCS and its partners work year-round to find permanent homes for kids. To help build awareness about adoptable foster children, DCS developed a compelling portraits display of children in need of adoptive families. The exhibit, called the Indiana Heart Gallery, travels to over 50 venues around the state each year. Several Heart Gallery portraits will be on display at the Justice Center Nov. 11 – 15. Viewing times are 8 am to 4 pm.
In addition, an online picture book with photos and short bios of adoptable kids is also available (see http://www.in.gov/dcs/2737.htm). To provide support for parents that adopt a foster child, DCS and its partners offer a full array of post-adoptive services including referrals, therapy, crisis intervention, support groups and mentoring.
To be eligible to adopt a child from the foster care system, you do not have to be rich, own your own house or even be married. You only need space in your heart to provide love for a child. Though waiting kids come from a variety of backgrounds—some are part of a sibling group, many are older children or adolescents and some have physical or mental disabilities—DCS and its partners are committed to proving there is no such thing as an un-adoptable child.
Top 5 Reasons to Consider Adopting a Foster Child:
#5 – Patience and a sense of humor are two of your greatest strengths.
#4 – You have a heart that is bigger than your home.
#3 – You know how important it is to be part of a family.
#2 – You believe every kid counts.
And the #1 reason to consider adopting a foster child: Today there are nearly 100 foster children in Indiana waiting for permanent homes.
The Henry County Justice Center is located at 1215 Race Street in New Castle.
For more information about adopting a foster child, call 1-888-25ADOPT.
About Indiana Department of Child Services:
DCS is committed to protecting children who are victims of abuse or neglect. The agency's primary goal is to safely keep these children at home with their families by offering appropriate support services. It also manages the child support bureau. Indiana Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline: 800.800.5556. www.in.gov/dcs