November 17, 2005
For many parents adopting is their only option, but it can be scary because of the many unknowns. Fortunately, you can take part in a young person's life before gaining legal custody.
Public and private organizations hosted an adoption orientation to answer questions about the process. They encouraged families to foster children with the hopes that they would eventually adopt them.
Singles and couples listened to a panel of women explain the pros and cons. Newlyweds attended the meeting because they were interested in adopting. His children are grown-up and her daughter has already been through the adoption process.
"I've always for years wanted to, even as a younger person wanted to turn around and adopt children because I love children very much. They are my heart," said Rev. Samuel Bennett who is thinking of adopting with his wife.
They have hosted foster children, but are interested in taking the next step.
"They need a parent. They need a mother and father to help them, to train them," said Bennett.
The leaders suggest that people first open their home to foster children--which often leads to adopting them.
"Often times because they've developed a relationship and know the child, it is something that they want to do and it gives the family the opportunity to become involved in the child's life," said Janie Hunter of the Albemarle Department of Social Services.
There are plenty of local needs.
"Saturday we're celebrating adoption of 20 children from the ages of 2 to 17," said Hunter.
Again these are children of all ages and races. Organizers listed several characteristics for the ideal parent which include providing structure, being flexible and tolerant, and having a sense of humor.
Information on adoption organizations are as follows:
National Adoption Information Clearinghouse
The North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC)
Joint Council on International Children's Services (JCICS)
Child Welfare League of America (CWLA)
American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (AAAA)
National Resource Center for Special Needs Adoption (AAAA)
The Center for Adoption Support and Education, Inc. (C.A.S.E.)
Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute