November Is National Adoption Month in Vermont
Vermont Governor Phil Scott recently proclaimed November as Adoption Month in Vermont, recognizing the importance of making sure every child has a permanent, safe, and loving family.
Adoption Month is an opportunity to:
- Honor and thank the adoptive parents in Vermont who have provided permanent, loving homes to children in need.
- Shine a spotlight on the approximately 110 children and youth in Vermont foster care who are still waiting and hoping for their forever families.
- Listen to and honor the experience of youth and adult adoptees in Vermont.
Most of the children waiting for families are school-aged. Some are siblings who don’t want to be separated. Many are teens who still need and want families.
Project Family — a partnership formed in 2000 between Lund and the Department for Children and Families (DCF) — is working hard to find permanent families for these children and youth. But more families are needed, especially for youth over 14. The chances of a child under eight being adopted are almost nine times greater than for someone over 14.
“Youth need to be connected to their communities to live happy, healthy adult lives,” said Gillie Hopkins, DCF’s Permanency Planning Manager. “They also need to be involved in the conversations about their future. They know best what they want and need in life, and they deserve to be heard.”
“They can’t wait,” said Wanda Audette, Director of Adoption at Lund. “Children and youth have an urgent need for permanency. And we have an obligation, as the adults in their lives and in their communities, to not allow them to turn 18 without a place to call home. Without a family to call their own.”
Adoption Month is also a great time to recognize and celebrate the:
- More than 50% of children in state custody care who will safely reunite with their biological parents this year,
- Parents who did the hard work to make this possible, and
- Workers and service providers who supported them.
To learn how you can help a child in need of a family, call Project Family at 1-800-746-7000 or go to http://www.projectfamily.vt.gov.