November each year is recognized as National Adoption Month across the United States. It is a time to recognize those who serve the more than 100,000 children who are waiting to be adopted out of foster care.
According to the most recent statistics from the Iowa Department of Human Services, more than 600 children in Iowa are eligible for adoption from foster care. While many of those children already have an adoptive home identified, there are many still waiting to for a permanent home.
“Every child in our state deserves to have a permanent connection to a caring adult,” Iowa KidsNet Director Theresa Lewis said. “Iowa has an ongoing need for more foster and adoptive families, especially those who can care for teens, sibling groups and children with special needs. Nationally, each year over 23,000 youth turn 18 and age out of foster care without having permanent family connections. Together we can make sure all Iowa youth have the support they need to reach their bright potential.”
As of just two months ago, there were about 6,300 Iowa children in foster care. That includes children placed in both relative and non-relative foster care, group homes, institutional care, supervised independent living or on trial home visits.
Of those children waiting to be adopted from foster care, some will have to wait as long as five years or more before they are adopted. That’s a long time for anyone, especially a child.
Iowa KidsNet is a statewide collaboration of agencies that includes Lutheran Services in Iowa, Quakerdale and Youth and Shelter Services. Together, they provide a cohesive approach to recruitment, training, licensing and continued support to those who wish to become foster or adoptive parents.