FT. WAYNE, Ind. (Nov. 15, 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 2006, Allen County has set aside a special day in November to celebrate and honor families who adopt. This year Thursday, Nov. 21 has been designated ‘adoption day’ and the Allen County Department of Child Services (DCS), the Allen County Superior Court and the Children’s Bureau are collaborating to celebrate the dreams of several foster children coming true.
“It’s no coincidence that National Adoption Awareness Month is positioned in the month of November when Americans celebrate a time of thanksgiving,” said Michelle Savieo, director of the Allen 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.”
Allen County Superior Court Judge Charles Pratt will preside over an estimated 30 foster care adoptions scheduled to be finalized on Nov. 21. Adoption ceremonies will begin at 8:30 am in the Allen County Courthouse.
“Allen County was the first community in Indiana to participate in National Adoption Day when the Allen Superior Court established the observance seven years ago,” noted Judge Pratt. “The day is important for the community as we are all given the opportunity to learn about foster care and the blessings of adoption. However, this day is far more important because children will be given their forever families.”
The new adoptive families will enjoy light refreshments during a reception, compliments of the Children’s Bureau. The Linus Project will provide hand-made blankets and a clown will paint children’s faces. Gifts from the court and local businesses, including the downtown McDonald’s, will add to the day’s festivities. For anyone interested in learning more about foster care adoptions, adoption champions from the Children’s Bureau will also be available.
Special permission has been given by the Indiana Supreme Court for families to record the adoption of their child and to permit local media to record and broadcast the hearings.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For more information about adopting a foster child, call 1-888-25ADOPT.
The Allen County Courthouse is at 715 South Calhoun Street in Ft. Wayne.
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