Over 500 Minnesota children are waiting to find their forever families, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services. More than 60 percent are over 6 years old, over half are children of color and nearly one-fifth are siblings.
A change in the state law this year was designed to help some children who may face disadvantages in the adoption system find homes. People who adopt older children who need medical care or counseling now receive more money to help provide for their needs.
Annually, National Adoption Day, which is the Saturday before Thanksgiving, raises awareness of the 100,000-plus children in this country who are in foster care and waiting for their permanent home. Events are held across the country in which multiple adoptions are finalized and families and children begin their new lives together.
Last month, 60 children in Hennepin and Ramsey counties, which encompass Minnesota's Twin Cities, started those new lives. There were almost twice as many adoptions in Hennepin County as last year. The change in the law is partially credited with the increase.
One couple adopted three siblings, a 12-year-old girl, her 9-year-old brother and an infant sister. They noted the number of children even older than them who don't have homes. Their new mother said, "These kids have endured a lot of heartache and trauma that kids their age shouldn't have." She said that she and her husband "want them to reach their full potential."
A woman from Eden Prairie who finalized the adoption of a younger sibling of one of the family's other adopted children, said, "Having a sense of who you are and where you come from affects your identity."
Adoption laws vary by state, even between Minnesota and North Dakota. That's why it's essential to have sound legal guidance from an attorney who knows the laws of your state. Experienced adoption attorneys can help facilitate the process and let parents focus on providing a loving, stable home for a child.
Source: KTSP-TV Channel 5, "Dozens of Minnesota Children Find Homes on National Adoption Day" Kate Renner, Nov. 24, 2014