Gov. Heineman Proclaims Adoption Month; Highlights Need for Families Willing to Adopt
Gov. Dave Heineman praised the progress made by children who were state wards as 76 realized their dreams of a permanent family as part of special adoption hearings and celebrations of National Adoption Day in Lancaster, Adams and Douglas counties. He also proclaimed November as Adoption Month in Nebraska.
"It's a special privilege to see the excitement of these children and their parents-to-be as they begin new lives with their new families," Gov. Heineman said. "Every child deserves the chance to grow up in a safe environment that provides love and support, and I applaud the efforts of individuals in our state who have opened their homes to children in need."
The Governor attended the celebration in Lincoln, where 14 children who were state wards moved from foster care into permanent families. Judge Linda Porter with the Lancaster County Separate Juvenile Court hosted the event.
Judge Porter said, "I want to thank the volunteer lawyers, foster care professionals, child advocates, judges and staff who made today possible. It's wonderful to see so many children moving from foster care into loving, permanent families."
This is the first year that the Lancaster County Separate Juvenile Court and the Adams County Court are participating in National Adoption Day, sponsored by the Alliance for Children's Rights. The Douglas County Separate Juvenile Court has celebrated Adoption Day for six years. A dozen children were adopted in Hastings, as were 50 in Omaha.
Nancy Montanez, director of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, said, "Many children were removed from their biological families because of abuse or neglect. I want to thank all the families who have adopted children from foster care, but more importantly, we want Nebraskans to know that more adoptive families are needed."
Approximately 3,400 children in Nebraska live in foster homes, and 166 of those children need adoptive homes and families. More information on becoming a foster or adoptive parent is available by calling 800-7-PARENT or 800-772-7368. The greatest need is for families interested in adopting siblings, older children or children with mental or physical handicaps.