By: Leslie Barrows
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Celebrating National Adoption Day: What You Can Do
Would You Consider Adopting or Being a Foster Parent?
National Adoption Day raises awareness of children in foster care who need permanent families and forever homes. Since 2000, courts and communities finalize and celebrate thousands of adoptions of children from foster care. Many observe National Adoption Day every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving Day. This year we celebrate families and their newly adopted sons and daughters on Saturday, November 21. And while in light of COVID-19 the customary events and in-court celebrations may be different or not taking place, it is more important than ever to share and tell others about foster children in need of adoption into forever families.
Attorney Leslie Barrows has been involved with the Tarrant County National Adoption Day program for years and has served as an events chair. “Bringing adoptive parents and foster children together and into permanent homes is among the most rewarding things I get to do.” Leslie Barrows says.
You Can Help Us Raise Awareness About Adopting
- Share Information About Adoption: Adoption from Foster Care – AdoptUSKids
- Find a Group on Social Media to Join and Learn: Adoptive Families on Facebook
- Donate to Support the Gladney Center for Adoption: Donate
- Post photos from virtual adoptions or past events on social media with the hashtag #NationalAdoptionDay and the tag @DTFA so that the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption can share your posts.
The Gladney Center for Adoption in Fort Worth, Texas
Families in the Fort Worth area and all over DFW can start their journey to adopt at the Gladney Center for Adoption. Parents adopting children through the Gladney New Beginnings Parent Adoption Program attend required training to adopt children from the Texas foster care system. Children separated from their birth families have experienced significant life events and need proper emotional care and attention. The Gladney Center extends its support to families during and after adoption to help ensure that everything is working well.
The Gladney Center also works with expectant mothers choosing families to adopt a child of an unplanned pregnancy. Mothers who are looking to family to adopt her child receive care and counseling through the Gladney Center for Adoption, during a very sensitive time and process in that mother’s life.
Encouraging Awareness About Children in Foster Care
At any given count, there are more than 100,000 children and teenagers in foster care and are waiting for a permanent home with a loving and secure family. Children go into foster care and it is not their fault. Children abused, neglected, or abandoned are separated from their birth parents for their safety. And while many of the children in foster care are eventually able to reunite with their birth parents, many more become eligible for adoption from foster care.
Birth-related relatives may have the option to adopt children from foster care, especially when they have an existing relationship with the child. Additionally, foster parents may seek to adopt foster children as permanent members of their family.
Becoming a Foster Parent in Texas
In Texas, the foster parent program is a good starting point for people who want to adopt a child. There are many benefits to becoming a foster parent. Especially if you have not had children before, becoming a foster parent can help you learn more about your parenting style and how to adapt to life with children before you make a forever commitment to adopt a child.
The first step in becoming a foster parent in Texas is to attend an informational meeting where you learn the requirements of being a foster or adoptive parent. Generally, you must be at least 21 years old, financially stable, and a responsible mature adult.
Training for Foster Parents in Texas
After the informational meeting and application process with DFPS, if you are selected to proceed in the process you will be invited to meet with DFPS staff to talk about becoming a foster parent. Next, you will attend a training course through DFPS as well as completing the Parent Resource Information Development Education (PRIDE) course. Applicants to become foster parents must also complete any additional training required by the state, including universal precautions training, psychotropic medication training, and First Aid and CPR training.
A final step in becoming a foster parent is the family home study, where a caseworker from DFPS will visit with you in your home and discuss personal histories and family interests. The caseworker will be interested in learning your existing childcare experience and how you are best able to meet the needs of a child. The caseworker prepares a report based on their recommendations after the family home study and may suggest a child who may be the best match for your family.
Encouraging Others to Adopt Children from Foster Care
Every family has its own story to tell about why they decided to become foster parents and adopt children. Some become foster and adoptive parents because of a relative or family friend. Some couples have difficulty having children but have so much love and care to give a child in need, and they become foster parents and later adopt.
If you know someone who has enough love and room in their heart and family to become adopt children from foster care, you can help a boy or girl become another family’s new son or daughter.
Sometimes life gives us situations and opportunities for which we did not prepare. Life can be happy and life can be sad, but one thing is certain, life continues and there are always surprises. Encouraging others to adopt children from foster care is significant because it might be something new to someone.