INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 14, 2013)—November is National Adoption Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness about the adoption of children and youth from foster care. To celebrate children and families who have come together through adoption, the Marion County Department of Child Services (DCS), the Children’s Bureau and other adoption partners are sponsoring an adoption fair at the Schwitzer Center on the campus of the University of Indianapolis on Thursday, Nov. 21.
“It’s no coincidence that National Adoption Awareness Month is positioned in the month of November when Americans celebrate a time of thanksgiving,” said Peggy Surbey, director and regional manager of the Marion 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.”
Adoption professionals from several adoption agencies and services will be available in the atrium of the Schwitzer Center beginning at 11 am. Representatives from The Villages, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, Children’s Bureau and others will be on hand to answer questions and provide educational materials.
For those wanting additional information about adoption, several workshops will be available in the basement of Schwitzer from 2 pm to 3:30 pm.
At 4 pm, a reception will take place in the atrium. Special guests include:
· Judge Marilyn Moores, Marion Superior Court
· Tina Cloer, President and CEO, Children’s Bureau
· Sandra Caesar, Adoption Manager, DCS
· Robert Manuel, President, University of Indianapolis
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 continuously throughout the year, 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 at the Schwitzer Center during the Nov. 21 event from 11 am to 5 pm.
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.
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.
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.
For more information about adopting a foster child, call 1-888-25ADOPT.
The Schwitzer Center is located on the campus of the University of Indianapolis, 1400 E. Hanna Avenue in Indianapolis.
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