Iowa KidsNet is proud to join child welfare advocates and families across the country in celebrating November's National Adoption Month, a time to raise awareness about the more than 101,000 children in the U.S. who are waiting to be adopted from foster care and to recognize the people who make a difference in their lives.
According to the Iowa Department of Human Services, as of August 2013, there were about 622 children in Iowa who were legally eligible for adoption from foster care, meaning parental rights had been terminated. Many of these children already have an adoptive home identified with a relative or a foster family, while others are still waiting for an adoptive home.
"Every child in our state deserves to have a permanent connection to a caring adult," said Theresa Lewis, Iowa KidsNet project director. "Iowa has an ongoing need for more foster and adoptive families, especially those who can care for teens, sibling groups and children with special needs. Nationally, each year over 23,000 youth turn 18 and age out of foster care without having permanent family connections. Together we can make sure all Iowa youth have the support they need to reach their bright potential."
On Aug. 31, there were approximately 6,300 Iowa children in foster care, which includes placements in non-relative foster homes, relative foster care, group homes, institutional care, supervised independent living or on trial home visits.
Iowa will hold National Adoption Day events this November in Davenport, Waterloo, Sioux City, Council Bluffs, Webster City, Des Moines, Ottumwa and Cedar Rapids when many adoptions of children from foster care are finalized and celebrated on the same day.
Of the 101,000 children in the U.S. waiting to be adopted from foster care, some will wait five years or more to be adopted, a lifetime to a child.
In all Iowa counties, including Marshall County, Iowa KidsNet provides a structured network of support for foster families and post-adoption support for families who have adopted from foster care and have a subsidized adoption.