By Jill Melaas
National Adoption Month is recognized during the month of November. This is a national day of celebration for adoptive families.
During this month in communities all around the country, families, adoption advocates, policymakers, judges and volunteers come together to celebrate adoption by finalizing the adoptions of children from foster care. This year the National Adoption Day Coalition is expecting 4,500 foster care children all over the country to be adopted on National Adoption Day.
Here at Ramsey County Human Services, we are gearing up to celebrate our Fifth Annual National Adoption Day celebration. During our event this year, several children will have their adoptions finalized and leave the courtroom with the comfort and joy of having their “forever” families at their sides.
While these celebrations will be a joyous occasion for many children and families, they will also serve as an opportunity to raise public awareness about the thousands of children still waiting in foster care to find a permanent, loving family. Each year, more than 80 children in Ramsey County alone are in need of an adoptive family.
These are children who entered foster care as a result of abuse, neglect, and/or abandonment through no fault of their own. They are children of all ages and races, both male and female, and many have specials needs.
Over 64 percent of them are African American and other children of color. Some are older teens or a member of a sibling group. No matter their backgrounds, they all need and deserve a loving family who will make a lifelong commitment to them.
In December 2008, Ramsey County Human Services began a five-year demonstration project called the Permanent Families Recruitment Project. The project’s overarching goal is to find a “Permanent Home for Every Child.”
The project’s mission is to find families who reflect the race and ethnicity of the waiting children and to reduce the length of time children wait to be adopted. There is also a major emphasis on working to ensure our licensing practices are culturally sensitive and friendly.
Interested in adoption?
Adoptive parents may be single, married, currently parenting other children or not. They don’t need to own their own home or have a high income. Furthermore, there are no home-study or placement fees charged to parents adopting Ramsey County’s waiting children.
Subsidies are also available to help offset the costs of finalizing an adoption. You don’t have to be a perfect parent. Let’s face it, nobody is! You just need to be able to provide a safe, stable and loving environment where a child can feel supported and secure.
If you think that you may be interested in becoming an adoptive parent for a waiting child, please take the next step. Call with your questions and learn more about the application process.
Call Ramsey County at 651-266-KIDS and you will be directed to one of their adoption recruiters, or email AskAdoptionServices@co.ramsey.mn.us. There will be help to answer your questions and get you started.
Jill Melaas is an intern for the Permanent Families Recruitment Project at Ramsey County Human Services.