National Adoption Day 2010

Let me be the first to wish you a Happy National Adoption Day!  In fact, today is a very happy day for many children whose adoptions were finalized today to honor the day!  Certainly reason to celebrate!

The Saturday before Thanksgiving is set aside each year as National Adoption Day.  Many courts finalize a group of adoptions on that day, and apparently the courtrooms are a big party room!  🙂

Want to share a couple of things with you today:

Debunking the Myths:

The Facts about Foster Care Adoption

MYTH: There are not enough loving families available who want to adopt children from foster care.

FACT: A national survey commissioned by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and conducted by

Harris Interactive in 2007 reveals that 48 million Americans have considered adoption from foster care –

more so than any other form of adoption, including private adoption of an infant or international adoption.

The research indicates that there are many families that are interested in foster care adoption but that

more needs to be done to find ways to connect these families with waiting children. Through National

Adoption Day, the Coalition puts a national spotlight on the 114,000 waiting children in foster care in the

hope that more people will take steps to adopt.

MYTH: There’s too much red tape and bureaucracy involved in adopting a child from foster care.

FACT: Congress has streamlined the foster care adoption process through enactment of the Adoption

and Safe Families Act of 1997. This law stipulates that children in foster care, who cannot be reunited

with their birth parents, are freed for adoption and placed with permanent families as quickly as possible.

MYTH: Adopting a child from foster care is expensive.

FACT: Actually, adopting children from foster care can be virtually free. Many agencies do not charge for

the services they provide to families who are adopting a child from foster care. In addition, a growing

number of companies and government agencies offer adoption assistance as part of their employee

benefit packages, including time off for maternity/paternity leave, financial incentives, and other benefits.

Congress has also made federal tax credits available for foster care adoptions to help offset required

fees, court costs, legal and travel expenses. In 2007, the maximum federal tax credit for qualifying

expenses was $11,390. Benefits such as these are enabling more families to adopt children from foster

care into their homes.

MYTH: Adoptive parents must be a modern version of Ozzie and Harriet.

FACT: Prospective adoptive parents do not have to be rich, married, own a home, or be of a certain race

or age to become an adoptive parent (Nearly one-third of adoptions from foster care are by single

parents). In fact, families are as diverse as the children who are available for adoption. Patience, a good

sense of humor, a love of children and the commitment to be a good parent are the most important

characteristics.

MYTH: All children in foster care have some kind of physical, mental or emotional handicap; that’s why

they are classified as “special needs.”

FACT: The term “special needs” is somewhat misleading, because it can mean that the child is older, a

minority or requires placement with his/her siblings. While some children are dealing with physical or

emotional concerns, they need the nurturing support only a permanent family can provide. Many children

in foster care are in the “system” because their birth parents weren’t protective and nurturing caretakers—

not because the children did anything wrong or because there is something wrong with them.

MYTH: State agencies may withhold information about a child’s past in order to get that child placed with

a family.

FACT: State agencies are legally required to provide full, factual information about a child to any potential

adoptive parents. Agencies have an invested interest in ensuring that parents have a positive experience

with foster care adoption so they will continue to adopt and recommend others do the same. For children

who have physical, emotional or behavioral problems, agencies seek to provide the most comprehensive

post-adoptive services available to help the children transition into their new homes.

MYTH: Families don’t receive support after the adoption is finalized.

FACT: Financial assistance does not end with the child’s placement or adoption. The vast majority of

children adopted from foster care are eligible for federal or state subsidies that help offset both short-and

long-term costs associated with post-adoption adjustments. Such benefits, which vary by state, commonly

include monthly cash subsidies, medical assistance and social services.

More information about federal and state subsidy programs is available from the National Adoption

Assistance Training, Resource, and Information Network helpline at 1-800-470-6665.

MYTH: Children in foster care have too much “baggage.”

FACT: This is perhaps the biggest myth of all. Children in foster care—just like all children—have

enormous potential to thrive given love, patience and a stable environment. Just ask former U.S. Senator

Ben “Nighthorse” Campbell or Minnesota Viking Dante Culpepper. They were both foster children who

were adopted by caring adults.

MYTH: It’s too difficult to find information on how to adopt.

FACT: There are resources available to help potential parents take the first step towards adopting out of

foster care. For more information log on to http://www.NationalAdoptionDay.org or simply call 1-800-ASKDTFA

 

Foster Care Adoption: Facts & Figures

Every year, more than 114,000 children in foster care are available for adoption. Many spend more than

five years waiting for permanent, loving homes. Between 2000 and 2009, more than 30,000 children were

joined together with their forever families as part of National Adoption Day activities.

Who are these waiting children?

• There are an estimated 463,000 children in foster care in the United States, and more than 114,000

of them are waiting to be adopted.

• Through no fault of their own, these children enter foster care as a result of abuse, neglect and/or

abandonment.

• The average child waits for an adoptive family for more than two years.

• 19 percent spend 5 years or more waiting for a family (24,300 children).

• The average age of children waiting for an adoptive family is 8.

What happens to them?

• 55,000 children are adopted from foster care.

• More than 29,000 children reach the age of 18 without ever finding a forever family.

Who adopts from foster care?

• Children in foster care are adopted by three types of families: former foster parents (59 percent),

relatives (26 percent) and non-relatives (15 percent).

• Of the families who adopt children from foster care, 69 percent are married couples, 26 percent are

single females, 3 percent are single males, and 2 percent are unmarried couples.

• A national survey in 2007 revealed that 48 million Americans have considered adoption from foster

care – more so than any other form of adoption, including private adoption of an infant or international

adoption. (National Foster Care Adoption Attitudes Survey, November 2007. Commissioned by the

Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and conducted by Harris Interactive.)

To find out more about adopting a child in the United States, please visit

http://www.nationaladoptionday.org or call 1-800-ASK-DTFA.

(Unless otherwise indicated, statistics are provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human

Services, Administration for Children and Families Administration on Children; Interim Estimates for FY

2008.)


 

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5 responses to this post.

  1. There is lots of great information here, most I didn’t know. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

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  4. […] National Adoption Day 2010 (ourordinaryday.wordpress.com) […]

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