Eleven Children Adopted in Local Celebration Today

For Immediate Release: November 14, 2012
Contact: Erin Gillespie, Press Secretary, (850) 717-4450

Eleven Children Adopted in Local Celebration Today
Adoption advocates also received awards during National Adoption Month event

TALLAHASSEE— Toddlers Eric and Kimani became a part of their forever family through the foster parents who have cared for them almost since birth. Savannah, 15, found a new mom in a longtime family friend. Three young ladies –  Jordana, Shelby and Shealin – were adopted by their older sister, Alexis, amidst many tears.

These are just a few of the family stories from today’s National Adoption Month event at the Leon County Courthouse. The Wizard of Oz-themed celebration, entitled “There’s No Place Like Home,” brought 11 children into seven permanent families.

“Today is a wonderful day. This is what makes our efforts to help children and families in need all worthwhile,” said Suzanne Vitale, DCF Deputy Secretary. “There are still 750 children in Florida who are waiting for their forever family, and today’s event gives us hope that each one of them will find their home.”

Several awards were also given out at today’s event:

  • Angels in Adoption Award: Chris and Louisa Williams, local adoptive parents.
  • The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute Angels in Adoption Award: The Florida Statewide Guardian ad Litem Program, nominated by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.
  • Adoptive Parents of the Year: Brian and Shannon Carroll, who have five children adopted from foster care, ranging in age from 15 months to 10 years.

The Department of Children and Families, the Governor’s Office of Adoption and Child Protection and our community-based partners across the state celebrate “30 Days of Amazing Children: Explore Adoption!” each November. A newly redesigned website at www.adoptflorida.org highlights a different amazing child or sibling group in foster care each day of the month with photos and videos. The children most in need of homes are teens, sibling groups and children with special needs whose biggest dream is to be part of a permanent family.

Last year, 3,250 children were adopted from Florida’s foster care system. That was the fifth year in a row that more than 3,000 children were adopted from foster care, bringing the total to more than 17,000. Florida’s children come into foster care through no fault of their own but because they were abused, neglected or abandoned. While private adoption can cost more than $30,000, adopting one of Florida’s children in foster care costs little or nothing. The benefits include a monthly adoption subsidy for the family, health benefits for the child, and free college tuition at a Florida public university, community college or vocational school.

For more information about the “30 Days of Amazing Children: Explore Adoption!” initiative or general questions about adoption of foster children in Florida, please visit www.adoptflorida.org, call 1-800-962-3678 (1-800-96-ADOPT), or check out our Twitter feed at @ExploreAdoption.