November is National Adoption Month and approximately 1,500 children and youth in Missouri are waiting for a forever home with a loving family. Every day, the Department of Social Services, Children’s Division and the Missouri Heart Gallery work to raise awareness of the youth and children in foster care who deserve a family they can call their own.
The wait for a forever family is especially hard for teens, approaching adulthood without a nurturing, loving and caring forever family by their side. A forever family provides the encouragement, guidance, security, and reassurance they need at this crucial time in their life. Older youth long to have a forever family they can make proud and share memories and celebrate joyful moments. They are anxious to begin their lives with a forever family exploring the world around them, pursuing their dreams, and building a brighter future with a loving family by their side.
Shelley Curry, First Circuit Manager for the Children’s Division reminded the public that anyone can apply to become an adoptive parent in Missouri, as long as they are 21 years old and willing to go through the training and assessment process. You can be with or without children; be single or married, own or rent a home, apartment, condo or other residence that meets licensing standards.
The adoption process includes background checks, health screenings, financial discussions and home assessments.
Basic requirements include:
At least 21 years of age
Complete a child abuse/neglect check and criminal record check (including fingerprints)
Be in good mental and physical health
Have a stable income
Be willing to participate in and complete a free training and assessment process
The Children’s Division is always looking for nurturing individuals who would be interested in becoming adoptive parents and opening their home to one of these incredible older youth or another child in need. If you would like to find out more about these wonderful youth or if adoption or foster parenting is right for you, please visit our Web site at http://www.MOHeartGallery.Org or call 1-800-554-2222 for more information, or email us at MOheartgallery@adoptex.org. You may also contact your local Children’s Division office at 660-465-8549 or 660-727-3393. You can make a difference in the life of a child through foster parenting and/or adoption.
On November 29th, U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (MO) and Amy Klobuchar (MN), co-chairs of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, welcomed Senate passage of their resolution recognizing November as National Adoption Month and November 19th as National Adoption Day.
“Every child deserves a stable, loving home and the foundation for a successful future that it provides,” Blunt said. “As a proud adoptive parent myself, I hope more Americans will use this opportunity to consider expanding their families through the gift of adoption. It has been an honor to work with the adoption community to help connect children who need permanent homes with the devoted parents ready to welcome them into their lives, and I look forward to continuing that effort.”
As co-chairs of the bipartisan CCA, Blunt and Klobuchar work to engage Members of Congress on issues pertaining to children in need of permanent homes, children in the foster care system, and domestic and international child welfare.
Klobuchar added, “Over the years, some of my most memorable work as Senate co-chair of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption has been helping families navigate the often difficult and complicated adoption process. By recognizing November as National Adoption Month and November 19th as National Adoption Day, we help increase awareness about children in need of loving homes and honor the hard work of these nurturing adoptive families.”
Last week, Blunt and Klobuchar joined Representatives Trent Franks (Ariz.) and Brenda Lawrence (Mich.), House co-chairs of the CCA, in sending a letter to the U.S. Department of State expressing concern over new international adoption regulations and the negative impact some of the Department’s proposed changes could have on the adoption process. Blunt and Klobuchar have also worked to resolve pending adoption cases from several countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nepal.
In July, Blunt and Klobuchar introduced the Vulnerable Children and Families Act, which would help more children living without families or in institutional care find permanent homes by enhancing U.S. diplomatic efforts around international child welfare and ensuring that intercountry adoption to the United States becomes a more viable and fully-developed option.
Last year, Blunt and Klobuchar introduced the Supporting Adoptive Families Act to provide resources for pre- and post-adoption support services, including training, counseling, and mental health treatment.