There are 114,550 U.S. children are in foster care, waiting to be adopted. They have been removed from their homes as victims of child abuse, neglect or abandonment and are left without a family. Last year, 29,471 children turned 18 and left the Foster Care System without an adoptive family. November is National Adoption Month and you can make a difference.
The “30 Days of Amazing Children: Explore Adoption!” initiative presenting children in foster care who dream of being adopted by forever families was unveiled yesterday, Noevember 1, by Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary George Sheldon and Florida’s Chief Child Advocate Jim Kallinger.
A different “Amazing Child” available for adoption in Florida is being featured every day during National Adoption Month in November on www.adoptflorida.org. Many of the featured teens, sibling groups and children with medical needs are depicted on videos as they talk about themselves and their hopes to become part of a loving family. About 850 children are available for adoption on any given day in Florida, and more than half of them are teenagers.
“Floridians are encouraged to visit www.adoptflorida.org during November and become acquainted with children available for adoption and their dreams of belonging to a family,” Secretary Sheldon said. “These are Florida’s children. Their futures depend on actions that all of us can take to raise adoption awareness and recruit loving adoptive families.”
“When children in foster care are adopted by a permanent family, they feel loved, secure and positive about their future,” Chief Child Advocate Kallinger said. “The many adoptive parents I have met are equally overjoyed to add these wonderful children to their families. We just need to keep spreading the adoption message.”
Children in foster care who do not achieve permanency with a family before transitioning out of care at age 18 are at higher risk of being arrested, becoming teenage moms, dropping out of school and becoming homeless. Over the past three and a half years, Florida has safely reduced the number of children in foster care by nearly 11,000, or 36 percent, through adoptions, permanent guardianships and reunification with parents.
Nearly 50 adoption celebrations and finalization ceremonies are being held throughout Florida this November. Go to http://www.adoptflorida.org/adoptionmonth4.shtml to find out about events in the Miami area.
While private forms of adoption can cost upwards of $30,000, adopting one of Florida’s children in foster care costs little or nothing. The benefits include a monthly adoption subsidy for the family, health benefits for the child, and free college tuition at a Florida public university, community college or vocational school. The federal adoption tax credit recently was raised to $13,170 per child and is refundable, meaning eligible taxpayers can receive it regardless of whether or not they owe taxes for that year.