November is National Adoption Month, and throughout the month, the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) is joining with the Administrative Office of the Courts in commemorating the state’s families who have come together through adoption.
Gov. Jay Inslee joined in celebrating the state’s adoptive families, officially declaring Nov. 16, 2018 to be Adoption Day in Washington state.
“Families who choose the life-changing path of adoption make a meaningful and lasting difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable children and youth in our state,” Inslee said in the proclamation.
DCYF has more than 9,200 children in its custody. Of those, nearly 2,000 are legally free to be adopted. While many of these children will go on to find loving, stable and permanent homes, dozens of youth age out of the foster care system without finding adoptive families.
Adoptive families all commit to providing forever homes for children and youth, but parents come from a range of backgrounds. Last year, 30 percent of adoptions are by relatives. Adoptive parents include married and unmarried couples, single parents, gay and lesbian parents, and adults of all ages.
“The journey to adoption is a long one for many children and families, and that’s why it’s so important to recognize and celebrate these moments,” said DCYF Secretary Ross Hunter. “DCYF is honored to participate in these community events throughout our state to honor these families and raise awareness of those children in foster care who are still waiting to find loving and permanent families of their own.”
DCYF is participating in new efforts to help match foster children with adoptive parents. Many of these efforts focus on placing older children with families. One such effort is the agency’s expansion of an experimental “reverse match” program in which children review information on adoptive parents and express an interest in meeting prospective parents. This gives older children a voice in their own adoption process.
“Giving children more voice in finding their new families is a great addition to the adoption process,” said King County Superior Court Judge Dean Lum, chair of the Washington State National Adoption Day Steering Committee. “It is important to empower the children as much as we can. Belonging to a nurturing family is essential to the quality of a child’s life and future.”
DCYF believes that every child deserves a permanent, stable and loving family. If you are interested in adopting a child through foster care, visit: https://www.dcyf.wa.gov/services/adoption.