PARENTS SOUGHT DURING ADOPTION AWARENESS MONTH
IL, NOVEMBER 1998 -- Proclaiming November Adoption Awareness Month in
Illinois, Governor Jim Edgar praised the families who last year opened
their homes to a record 4,293 children, while also noting that more
than 700 Illinois children still await loving, permanent homes.
"Thanks to loving families and the efforts of alliances like the
One Church One Child Program and the Corporate Partnerships for the
Recruitment of Adoptive Families, we nearly doubled adoptions this last
fiscal year," Governor Edgar said.
our attention remains focused on the hundreds of children currently
waiting to be adopted, as well as the hundreds of additional children
expected to be freed for adoption as we enter the second year of the
state’s Permanency Initiative. There is no better time than Adoption
Awareness Month to get the message out that these children need families
willing to open their hearts and their homes."
Illinois, children of all ages, backgrounds and abilities are waiting
for parents to make a difference in their lives. These are children
who need families to help them grow and develop to their fullest potential.
They are children who need love, guidance, and a sense of belonging
that only a family can provide.
a result of this need, throughout the month of November, the Illinois
Department of Children and Family Services, the One Church One Child
Program, the Child Care Association of Illinois, and the Adoption Information
Center of Illinois, have planned numerous events that will help in the
recruiting of prospective adoptive parents. Any of these agencies can
be contacted for additional information.
during the entire month, adoption supporters are being asked to celebrate
Adoption Awareness Month by wearing a white ribbon, and publishers are
asked to place in their newspapers public service ads that seek adoptive
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is committed to
finding safe and happy homes for the hundreds of children under state
care who are currently available for adoption. Because of an increased
emphasis by DCFS and private agency staff on permanent placement for
children, adoptions nearly doubled in Fiscal Year 1998, when there were
a record 4,293 adoptions, compared to Fiscal Year 1997, when 2,229 adoptions
were finalized. Also in Fiscal Year 1998, an additional 1,129 children
were transitioned into permanent homes under the Department’s new
subsidized guardianship program.
child welfare system was never meant to be a permanent home for the
45,000 children in substitute care in Illinois," said DCFS Director
Jess McDonald. "It is only a temporary placement until a child
is either returned home, adopted, or otherwise transitioned into a permanent
the best option for many children will be adoption. And that means we
will need more families who are willing to make a lifelong commitment
to an adoptable child."
year, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has set
a goal of 6,000 adoptions, a target that is achievable due to the Permanency
Initiative of 1997, which enacted reforms reducing the time frames in
which to move children to permanence; performance contracting, which
provides incentives to private agencies to move children from foster
care to permanency; innovative recruitment programs like the Corporate
Partnerships for the Recruitment of Adoptive Families; and partnerships
with the Juvenile Courts, especially in Cook County, where presiding
Judge Nancy Salyers has worked to expedite court processes.
and technical adoption assistance may be available both before and after
a child in DCFS care is adopted. Adoption is an option to all who qualify,
including married couples, single males and females, renters and homeowners.
adoption hotline (800-572-2390) is available to answer questions and
to help families begin the adoption process.