Child Welfare in the 21st Century

  • November 2013
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What if it were your child waiting?

Posted by lboyd544 on November 4, 2013

Each Thanksgiving, we gather together to give thanks for our families and count our blessings. For thousands of children in foster care, this cherished celebration is just a dream.

 In the United States, there are more than 100,000 children in foster care who need permanent, loving families, and many have been waiting years to get adopted. But there is hope. On Saturday, November 23, an unprecedented number of courts in 400 communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam will open their doors to finalize the adoptions of thousands of children from foster care, and to celebrate all families who adopt. This year marks the 14th anniversary of National Adoption Day, a collective national effort to raise awareness of children waiting in foster care to find permanent homes and loving families.

For the last 13 years, National Adoption Day has made the dreams of more than 44,500 children come true by working with courts, judges, attorneys, adoption professionals, child welfare agencies and advocates to finalize adoptions and find homes for children in foster care.

But there is still much more to be done for the more than 100,000 children who are still waiting. They will spend at least three birthdays waiting for their forever families, and the longer children are in foster care, the more at risk they are of growing up in care and leaving without being adopted. In fact, each year, more than 26,000 children turn 18 and leave the system without families. 

Children enter foster care through no fault of their own because of abuse, neglect or abandonment they have suffered at the hands of the people who should have nurtured and protected them. Many foster youth move more than three times while in the system, and are separated from siblings.

In Oklahoma alone, 2916 children in foster care are waiting to find families they can call their own; and last year, 1226 children were adopted.

It is unacceptable that any child should not have the opportunity for a safe, loving and permanent home. I would like to encourage all of us to step forward to make a difference in the life of a child. Visit nationaladoptionday.org for more information.

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