November 8, 2007
ATLANTA (GA) – The month of November is celebrated as National Adoption Month and DHR’s Division of Family and Children Services Adoption Unit is focusing its efforts this month on raising awareness about the specific needs of children in foster care. Throughout the month of November, DFCS’ Adoptions Unit will provide numerous opportunities for the community to learn about the thousands of children in state care who are waiting to be adopted.
"Every child needs and deserves the caring, nurturing and stable environment of a family," said Mary Dean Harvey, director of the Division of Family and Children Services. "Adoption changes children’s lives and we urge more Georgians to consider expanding their families by adopting a foster child."
Even though state adoptions have been on an increase over the last three years, there are still, more than 1,800 children each year are in need of adoptive families. These are children who are typically older, African American, members of sibling groups, and children who may have physical disabilities or emotional challenges. Of the 1250 children adopted last year, more than half of them were between the ages 1 and 6, and only 140 were over the age of 13. Finalized adoptions climbed from 930 in 2004, to 1,250 in 2007, an increase of more than 20 percent statewide. State adoption officials attribute the increase to county and regional recruitment campaigns.
"It’s a celebration whenever a child in our care is adopted, but there’s a vigorous concerted effort statewide to keep the needs of the harder to place children front-and-center, not just in November, but year round" said Shamim Neal-Backus.
DHR awareness activities throughout National Adoption Month include family festivals, adoption parties, video conferences, media campaigns, and appreciation events for adoptive and foster parents. For a complete list of statewide activities visit the Department of Human Resources Website at www.dfcs.dhr.georgia.gov/adoptions.
For more information contact:
Beverly Jones, 404-657-1387