EVANSVILLE, 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. The Vanderburgh County Department of Child Services (DCS), along with various partners, has two events planned to help raise awareness about adoptable foster children and celebrate and honor families who adopt. An open house for the public will take place on Saturday, Nov. 16 at the Evansville Central Library and an ‘adoption day’ is set for Thursday, Nov. 21 at Vanderburgh Superior Court.
“It’s no coincidence that National Adoption Awareness Month is positioned in the month of November when Americans celebrate a time of thanksgiving,” said Shirley Starks, director of the Vanderburgh County DCS office. “It gives us policymakers, practitioners and advocates a chance to say ‘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.” Starks happily reports that adoptions for Vanderburgh County foster children have been celebrated every month so far in 2013.
Nov. 16 Open House
On Nov. 16, a community open house will take place at the Evansville Central Library (browning event room). This free event, 12:30 to 3:30 pm, will feature adoption professionals answering questions and distributing adoption information brochures. Adoption and foster care specialists from DCS, an adoption champion from the Children’s Bureau, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Vanderburgh County as well as representatives from Wendy’s Wonderful Kids and The Villages will be present. There will also be light refreshments, door prizes and a kid’s craft corner.
Nov. 21 Adoption Day
Vanderburgh County Superior Court Judge Brett Niemeier will preside over an estimated 10 foster care adoptions slated to be finalized on adoption day, Nov. 21. Adoption ceremonies will begin at 8:30 am in suite 129 of the Vanderburgh Superior Court.
“National adoption day is one of the best days of the year for the court,” noted Judge Niemeier. “The day is reserved for those parents who have decided to give the best gift a child can receive, a loving family. The court is proud to be a partner in this day of celebration.”
The new adoptive families will enjoy light refreshments and special gifts during a reception after the ceremonies, compliments of the Children’s Bureau. 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. A dozen Heart Gallery portraits will be displayed during the Nov. 16 event at the Central Library.
In addition, an online picture book with photos and short bios of adoptable kids is available (see http://www.in.gov/dcs/2737.htm). To provide support for parents that adopt a foster child, DCS and its partners offer 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.
Evansville Central Library is located at 200 SE Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. in Evansville. The Vanderburgh Superior Court is at One NW Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
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