November is National Adoption MonthWhat is National Adoption Month?
The purpose of National Adoption Month is to raise awareness about children in foster care waiting for permanent families. Recruitment efforts encourage America's families to step-up and help ensure the safety, permanency, and well-being of our nation's children. In California, the number of children needing permanent families has increased dramatically, due to changes in public policy expediting permanency options for children in public foster care. Special efforts are being made to recruit families of color as adoptive homes.
How Many Children Are We Talking About?
According to the US Administration for Children and Families, there are 523,000 children in the foster care system in the United States. Of these almost 118,000 are waiting for an adoptive family. About 19,000 "age out" of the system each year without ever being adopted and the majority of children in foster care tend to be minorities. Nationwide, 13% of the children waiting for adoption are Hispanic and 42% are African American.
Do I Have To Be Married with Lots of Money to Adopt?
Being an adoptive family for a child in need is easier than most people think.
Adoptive parents can be single or married, male or female. In California, gay and lesbian families can adopt children.
People of all ages can adopt -- you must simply be more than 10 years older than the prospective child.
Independent adoptions through a private adoption agency generally cost thousands of dollars. The fee for adopting a child through Kern's Human Services Adoption Agency is only about $500, and is routinely waived by DHS.
Although prospective adoptive families need to be self-supporting, most children adopted through the Agency are eligible for financial assistance and Medi-Cal through the Adoption Assistance Program.
Where Can I Find Out More?
For additional information about local, please call the Kern County Human Services Adoption Agency at 661.631.6006. Also, you can use these links to view photo albums of adoptable children from California or nationwide.
Do You Want to Know and Do More To Support Adoptions?
Attend Adoption Day In Kern County activities at the Kern County Juvenile Justice Center on Friday, November 18, 2005.
Begin thinking differently about adoption...consider the many different kinds of families that can raise a child.
Bookmark Adoptive Families online magazine. Ask adoptive families that you know if they would like a gift subscription.
Investigate the laws and statutes regarding adoption.
Read a great summary of the adoption process and complete a self-assessment to help determine if you are ready to adopt.
Receive online support as parents who have already adopted or are considering adoption. This discussion list includes topics on faith, inter-racial adoption, grandparents as parents, and many other parenting support topics.
Understand the challenges of adoption and be especially supportive of family and friends who have adopted children from protective custody systems.
View a Public Service Announcement created in English or Spanish by The Ad Council.