IL, AUG. 28, 1999 -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced record breaking
numbers for Illinois’ adoption program making the state a national
leader in matching state children with permanent, adoptive families.
For the second
consecutive year, the Department of Children and Family Services has moved
a record number of children to permanent homes through adoption and legal
guardianship. For 1999, DCFS reported 9,514 wards were adopted or put
in guardianship, increasing by 294 percent the number of placements since
1997. In one year alone, 3,019 more children were adopted than the previous
success story in 1998 added up to 4,239 adoptions. Our success story today
numbers above 7,000. Any adoptive parent within the sound of my voice
should consider themselves a hero or heroine for putting on the mantel
of parenthood," Ryan added.
the announcement, the Governor was joined by DCFS Director Jess McDonald
at the annual Foster Family Picnic on the grounds of the DuQuoin State
Fair. More than 1,500 people participated in the picnic with their
"Along with Director Jess McDonald and his staff, I
Jess McDonald explains adoption trends to a reporter.
to commend the juvenile courts, private sector agencies and foster families
for the work that has been done in Illinois," Ryan said.
applaud Cook County Court Presiding Judge Nancy Salyers for her leadership
in making placements. Her efforts resulted in an unprecedented increase
in Cook County adoptions and guardianships from 1,196 in 1996 to 7,543
in 1999," he added. "In addition, our corporate sponsors, including
WGN TV, the Chicago Sun Times and NBC TV Channel 5, should be thanked
for their willingness to feature adoptive children on their airwaves and
reported a 72 percent increase of the number of children moved into permanency
through subsidized guardianship from 1998 to 1999. Illinois met its permanency
private agencies with financial incentives to move children from foster
care into permanent homes;
with the juvenile courts to increase parental terminations of custody;
Illinois Permanency Initiative legislation along with the Federal Adoption
& Safe Families Act to acknowledge a child’s sense of time,
and speed through red tape.
that the increased adoptions contributed to the decrease in the number
of children placed into substitute care, also. DCFS reported that the
state’s substitute care population is at its lowest in six years,
declining from 51,600 in March 1997 to 38,000 children in 1999. In addition,
the child abuse and neglect rate is at its lowest since 1988 with 34,390
incident reports in 1999 compared to 41,329 in 1988.DCFS also proudly
- an eight-year
record low of 6,352 children were taken into protective custody in 1999
abuse cases decreased 60 percent from 1995 to 1999 after DCFS intervention.