National Adoption Month Kickoff Gives 16 Children Their Forever Families

For Immediate Release:
November 1, 2012

Contact:
Erin Gillespie
Press Secretary
(850) 717-4450

National Adoption Month Kickoff Gives 16 Children Their Forever Families
State, partners highlight children available for adoption through "30 Days of Amazing Children: Explore Adoption!" campaign

WEST PALM BEACH, FL - Sixteen children joined 11 families today in Palm Beach County as National Adoption Month kicked off with a celebration for these forever families.

"Finding loving homes for children in foster care gives these children the chance they deserve to grow up happy, healthy and successful," said Department of Children and Families Secretary David Wilkins. "I hope these wonderful successes continue around the state this month and year-round."

The "30 Days of Amazing Children: Explore Adoption!" campaign takes place 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, loving family.

"Florida is a national model for successful adoption from foster care, but there is more work to be done," said Florida's Chief Child Advocate Zack Gibson, Director of the Governor's Office of Adoption and Child Protection. "There are about 750 children still out there waiting to find a permanent family and I want to encourage everyone to explore the idea of adoption. You could provide the home a child or sibling group needs."

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. Additionally, over the past two years, Florida has significantly reduced the number of children in foster care available for adoption without an identified family.

Florida's children come into foster care through no fault of their own but because they were abused, neglected or abandoned. They come from varied backgrounds, circumstances, races and ethnicities. While some have specific medical, physical or emotional issues that require special care, many do not. Their entire life histories are shared with prospective adoptive parents.

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. In addition, families may be eligible for the federal adoption tax credit of $13,360 per child.

Dozens of adoption celebrations and finalization ceremonies are being held throughout Florida during the month of November. To find an event in your area, please visit www.adoptflorida.org/events.shtml.

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.

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