Connecticut is joining the nation in celebrating Adoption Awareness Month throughout November. This year’s emphasis is on the emotional rewards that families experience through adoption.
Several events this month will highlight what adoption means to both parents and children, including adoptions occurring in open court sessions, and the premiere of a feature movie about a family who adopts three children, including a teenager.
Connecticut had another successful year in completing adoptions and transferring guardianships for many children who benefit from permanent family homes.
For the state fiscal year ending June 30, 2018, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) completed 519 adoptions and transferred guardianship for 352 children. Guardianship is typically transferred to family members and without having to terminate parental rights, often preferred by the families themselves. There were 4,329 children in foster care in Connecticut as of August 1, 2018.
“It is heart-warming to see, and I cannot thank the families enough,” said DCF Commissioner Joette Katz, explaining that finding these permanent homes for children is a highlight for anyone who does the very difficult work of child protection. “Much of our work involves a lot of complex decision making along with the families we serve and sometimes a lot of heartache.”
“So when we get the chance to celebrate adoption, it is an important reminder that child welfare accomplishes a lot of good in supporting permanent family homes for very deserving children,” added Katz.
This year, Connecticut will celebrate Adoption Day on November 16, with adoptions occurring in juvenile court proceedings across the state.
That day is also the national premiere of a feature-length movie about a family that adopts three siblings entitled “Instant Family.” The Department is using the premiere as an opportunity to show ads before the movie begins in six Connecticut theaters to create more public awareness about the emotional rewards of adoption.
Background on Adoption from Foster Care
– In State Fiscal Year 2018, the Department completed 83 more adoptions and transferred 29 more guardianship compared to the prior year.
– Connecticut supports families who adopt children from foster care through a variety of ways, including monthly stipends to pay for the cost of caring for the child, health insurance for the child and special support such as counseling and respite. In addition, the cost of post-secondary education, including a four-year college, is covered, up to the cost of the Connecticut state university system.
– The need for homes for children in certain special groups is greater than for others. Sibling groups, teenagers and children with special medical or other special needs are more challenging to find homes for.
– There were 4,329 children in foster care as of August 1, 2018. About half of those will go back to their families. In addition, 42.2 percent are currently living with relatives or kin, double the percentage compared to January 2011.
– All kinds of families can adopt. There are no restrictions based on household characteristics related to marriage or sexual identity or preference. You don’t need to own your home. Renters are equally valued, and your household income only needs to be adequate to support household members without counting the adoption subsidy.
– Requirements for being licensed to adopt, which can take four to six months to complete, include:
- Pre-licensing training equal to 30 hours – which can take about 10 weeks;
- Home visits by Department licensing staff and a home study, which comes at no cost;
- Background checks for criminal or child abuse history that could prevent licensure.
Please call 1-888-KID-HERO, or the Connecticut DCF Regional Office in Danbury at (203)748-8325, or go to ctfosteradopt.com to register to one of their Foster Care and Adoption Open Houses near you: in Waterbury on Nov. 17 and Nov. 26, 2018 (Spanish Speaking), and in Danbury on Nov. 19 and Nov. 28, 2018.