Human Interest

During National Adoption Month, two Texas counties celebrate forever families for 16 children

population, foster care, racism

This fall during National Adoption Month, 16 children are set to be adopted in special ceremonies in Jefferson and Orange counties in Texas, according to the Texas Department of Public Family Services (DFPS). 

More than 5,000 Texas children who were abused or neglected were adopted from foster care in 2021, and Texas DFPS representatives said more children enter the foster care system daily, fueling the need for more safe and loving homes for children.

Texas DFPS officials launched “Why Not Me?” as a public awareness campaign designed to recruit adoptive parents in the state. According to the 2020 census, over 300,000 people call this coastal region home. They, along with other Texas counties, were the focus of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services’ weekly Foster Care and Adoption Information Meetings in September. Texas officials hope their efforts produce even more excellent results in addition to the 16 children adopted this month and that more families will be inspired to choose adoption.

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In the wake of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization release in May, which overturned Roe v. Wade, Texas lawmakers have vowed to encourage greater access to adoption and foster care services. Since then, nationally, public service announcements have been employed by Durable Goods, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), AdoptUSKids, and the Ad Council to address the needs of older adoptive children. And in Texas, families are being encouraged to adopt older children, teens, and children with special needs through the Why Not Me? ad campaign. 

Additional efforts to encourage adoption have been made with the creation of the Texas Adoption Resource Exchange (TARE) which has over 11,000 “likes” for its Facebook page. They connect potential adoptive families with children waiting for homes by highlighting different children who are eager to be adopted. In the posts, child profiles with encouraging information such as, “She is a friendly young lady with an exuberant personality. She likes to be called Lili. She enjoys roller skating with friends. She wants to be outdoors and likes to ride bikes. Lili enjoys going to church as well. Could you be her forever family?” are shared with prospective families.

“Children never outgrow the need for parents,” DFPS said. “Children are never too old to want and need a family of their own. Teenagers need parents as role models for becoming productive citizens.”

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