November 6, 2008
FOSTER CARE ADOPTIONS FINALIZE
NATIONAL ADOPTION DAY EVENT
NC- On Saturday, Nov. 15 at 9 a.m., approximately 40 children in
's foster care system will be officially adopted. The adoptions will be finalized during a special session of court at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse, followed by a reception to celebrate the new families.
The event, part of National Adoption Day, is free and open to the public. For the fifth year in a row, the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services (DSS), Mecklenburg County Juvenile Court, the Guardian Ad Litem Office and the Mecklenburg County Clerk of Court are co-sponsoring this event. District Court Judge Lisa C. Bell will preside over the session, which is part of a larger event that includes games and activities for children, as well as guest speakers. Representatives from various adoption agencies will also be on hand to answer questions regarding adoption.
"Almost a third of all
's foster care adoptions will take place on this special day," said Judge Bell. There are currently around 1,000 children in
's foster care system. Of those, almost 300 are cleared and ready to be adopted.
Nationwide, there are an estimated 510,000 children in foster care, 129,000 of whom are available for adoption. Since 1987, the number of children in foster care has nearly doubled, and the average time a child languishes in foster care has lengthened to more than two years. More than 19 percent spend five or more years waiting to be adopted. Each year, approximately 20,000 children in foster care will age out of the system without ever being placed with a permanent family.
Official sponsor of this year's Adoption Day is Justice Initiatives, Inc. Additional generous support comes from Girl Scout Troop #939, Clerk of Superior Court, Chick-Fil-A on
, Starbuck's on
, Bruegger's on
, Harris Teeter, Dave and Jamie Warren, and the Honorable Lisa C. Bell.
About National Adoption Day
Each year, on a Saturday before Thanksgiving, the National Adoption Day Coalition sponsors National Adoption Day to raise awareness of the need to find permanent, loving homes for the thousands of children in foster care.