November Is National Adoption Month

Dozens of kids right here in Virginia Beach are waiting for the right parents. Maybe that’s you?
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adoption month posterIn Virginia Beach, more than 200 children are in foster care and over 60 of them are waiting for the family who will commit to them forever. Across Virginia, there are more than 5,200 children are in foster care and almost 850 are waiting for an adoptive family.

November is recognized as National Adoption Awareness Month. While all adoption-related issues are important, the particular focus of this month is on increasing national awareness of the need for families to adopt children currently in the foster care system.

A child is placed in foster care when their biological parents are unable to keep them safe and meet their needs. The Virginia Beach Department of Human Services’ first goal is to attempt to provide support and services to the biological family so the child may safely return home. During this time, children are cared for in foster homes. In many cases, biological parents are able to make needed changes and their child is returned home. However, sometimes returning home is not possible and the court will take the necessary steps to make a child in foster care available for adoption.

Children older than 10, children with special needs (medical and/or behavioral) and sibling groups struggle the most to find permanent families. People willing to consider adopting a child from foster care are expected to first serve as foster parents and support efforts to safely return a child home. When a return home is not possible, the hope is that foster parents will make a permanent commitment to the child or children in their home through adoption.  

There is no cost to adopt a child who is a ward of the state and families who adopt a child from foster care will continue to receive support and services after the adoption is finalized. Support and services can be provided to the child and family until the child reaches age 18, or 21 in certain cases. The goal of the City of Virginia Beach is to provide children with a forever family that will provide a permanent, stable and nurturing home life. 

Children who age out of foster care without a permanent family are likely to face challenges as they transition to adulthood. Statistically, less than half of children who age out of foster care graduate from high school; one in four will face legal trouble within two years, and one in five will experience homelessness. Adoption truly makes a difference in the life of a child. 

If you are interested in learning more about adopting a child from foster care, contact Ashley Conrad at 757-385-3539 or aconrad@vbgov.com
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