Friday, November 14, 2008

New York to Host National Adoption Day 2008

Events in all 50 States to Kick-off in New York; 151 New York City Children to be Connected to Loving, Permanent Families
Press Release from National Adoption Day Coalition, Nov. 13, 2008.

On November 15, 2008, hundreds of communities in all 50 states will hold courtroom celebrations to finalize more than 4,000 adoptions of children from foster care, bringing the total number of finalized adoptions as part of National Adoption Day activities to more than 25,000.

Every year, in November, hundreds of judges, attorneys, adoption agencies, adoption professionals and child advocates volunteer their time to finalize adoptions of children from foster care and celebrate all families who adopt.

New York will host the national celebration as it has led the country with innovative and successful programs to promote foster care adoptions, annually completing about 5,000 of these adoptions throughout the state.

As one of the original National Adoption Day participating cities, New York will host the national press conference to address the state of foster care and national trends in foster care adoption. The press conference will begin at 9 a.m. in the ceremonial courtroom on the first floor of the Queens Family Court.

The press conference will be followed by the adoptions of 151 children from foster care into permanent, loving, forever families.

Participants include:
- Rita Soronen, Executive Director of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and a founding sponsor of National Adoption Day
- Judge Joseph M. Lauria, Administrative Judge, New York City Family Court
- Ortiz-Torres-Fonseca, new adoptive family

"Today marks a milestone in America as we celebrate the over 3,500 children that will go home tonight with their forever families -- children who have waited for this moment in some cases for years. Our hearts are filled with joy for these children and for the power that this day has in raising awareness of the overwhelming number of children still waiting for a loving home," said Rita Soronen, Executive Director of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, a founding sponsor of National Adoption Day.

"We are honored that 25,000 children have now permanently joined families through our national celebrations. Experiencing the joy of National Adoption Day reminds us all of what we can accomplish and drives us further toward the goal of finding a home for every child."

"While we are first and foremost a Court of reunification, we are committed to permanency through adoption for our children and families when reunification is not appropriate. New York is proud to champion foster care adoption on National Adoption Day and every day throughout the year," said Judge Joseph M. Lauria, Administrative Judge of the New York City Family Court.

"In 2007, we finalized over 1,644 adoptions from foster care in our courts citywide, providing safe, loving and permanent homes for our deserving children. And, on National Adoption Day, we will be delighted that 151 more children who were waiting in foster care will go home knowing they are part of a permanent bond, knowing they have a family."

Right now, 129,000 children are waiting in the foster care system legally and permanently separated from their biological parents. Through no fault of their own, these children enter foster care because of abuse, neglect and/or abandonment. Unless they are connected with adoptive parents they will not only lose the opportunity for family joys as simple as Thanksgiving dinner, but they will also be at an increased risk for being undereducated, unemployed, homeless and/or involved in substance abuse or criminal activity.

Since 1987, the number of children in foster care has nearly doubled, and the average time a child waits for an adoptive family is more than three years. Many move to different families more than three times while in the system and are separated from siblings. Each year, nearly 26,000 of these youth will just end up leaving the system when they turn 18 with no family to support them in the future.

The National Adoption Day Coalition works tirelessly throughout the year with hundreds of communities and thousands of volunteers to dispel the myths about adopting from foster care and to raise awareness about the 129,000 children in need of adoptive families. The day also builds collaboration among local adoption agencies, courts and advocacy organizations and communicates the availability and need for post-adoptive services.

In Syracuse, New York, the Fifth Judicial District and Onondaga County will be hosting its largest National Adoption Day Celebration ever. Local Adoption Agencies as well as Onondaga County Department of Social Services will be on hand to provide information with regard to becoming Foster Parents as well as adopting. Following the ceremony, the private adoptions will take place with gift bags going to the children being adopted.

National Adoption Day is sponsored by a coalition dedicated to improving the lives of children, including The Alliance for Children's Rights, Casey Family Services, Children's Action Network, The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and the Freddie Mac Foundation.

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