BATAVIA, Ohio (Oct. 24, 2016) – On Nov. 17, during the annual Joy of Adoption ceremony, Clermont County will celebrate the loving families that have adopted 42 children over the past year.
Those mothers and fathers, who frequently start out as foster care parents, took the additional step of becoming adoptive parents, giving these children perhaps their first taste of a stable and nurturing home.
Currently, six girls and 10 boys are awaiting adoption in Clermont County. They, too, yearn for a stable and loving family.
“So many of our foster care families step up to become adoptive families,” said Anne Arbaugh, who supervises the foster care staff at Clermont County’s Children’s Protective Services (CPS), a division of the Department of Job and Family Services. “We have fantastic foster care families. But we always have kids waiting for a family.”
During a typical year, more than 200 children are in the custody of Children’s Protective Services. These children have been removed from their home because of abuse or neglect. They are then placed with a relative (often the most desirable option, because the child is in familiar surroundings), or a foster care family, or occasionally a group home.
A child in the custody of CPS becomes eligible for adoption if, after 12 months, the parents haven’t met the criteria for regaining custody of their children. “Twelve months in the life of a child is a long time,” Arbaugh said. During that time, caseworkers work closely with the parents but some parents simply cannot or will not take the steps that are needed to regain their children.
The children awaiting adoption in Clermont County range in age from 8 to 17 years. It is often more challenging to find adoptive parents for older children, said Adoption Supervisor Julie Jordan. But they can make such a difference in these children’s lives, she said. And the rewards can be immense. “Every child deserves a permanent family,” Jordan said.
According to AdoptUSKids.org, a national project that connects children in foster care to families, older youth who are adopted are more likely to finish high school, go to college, and be more emotionally secure than their peers who remain in or age out of foster care without a permanent family.
“You never outgrow needing a family,” say the experts at AdoptUSKids. “Everyone needs a sense of belonging. Through adoption, older youth are connected to a family that can provide a sense of stability, lasting connections, and guidance with important life tasks—including enrolling in higher education, finding stable housing, securing employment, and establishing healthy relationships.”
November is National Adoption Month. To find out more about each child who is now awaiting adoption in Clermont County, go to the ClermontForKids website, http://www.clermontforkids.org, and click on Waiting for a Family in the top navigation bar. To find out how to become a foster care or adoptive parent, go to http://www.clermontforkids.org and click on Foster Care and Adoption. #AdoptionMonth