OF STATEWIDE ADOPTION
PROGRAM HONOR PARENTS
ADOPTION PROGRAM CELEBRATES 1 9TH YEAR
SEPTEMBER 15, 1999 -- Two Chicago area families today will receive the
Adoptive Parent Recognition Award from the Illinois Department of Children
and Family Services’ One Church One Child Program for their extraordinary
assistance provided to Illinois children awaiting adoption.
& Mrs. Dave White of Hazelcrest and Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Love
of Chicago were foster parents to their children prior to adopting.
Both families adopted with full knowledge that their children had special
are blessed and fortunate to be a part of such a precious gift,"
said Mr. White, who shares with his wife a deep love and commitment
to the raising of their children. "Our prayer is that others will
step up to the plate and embrace an opportunity to give a child love,
nurturing and a family."
efforts of the One Church One Child program have highlighted the mission
of DCFS – to find more safe and permanent homes for children. More
than 1,500 mostly African-American congregations in Illinois participate
in the program. There are currently 1,538 DCFS wards statewide waiting
to be adopted. Of these, 1,301 are African-American children. In Cook
County alone, 711 of the 764 DCFS wards awaiting adoption are African-American.
are constantly thinking of ways to help children. Locating a family
and a place for a child to call home is the main way we show that we
care," said Rev. Robert Freeman, president of One Church One Child
in Illinois, and pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Rantoul.
"It is because One Church One Child builds on the belief that these
are our children, and therefore our responsibility."
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. DCFS reported 9,514 wards were adopted or placed
in subsidized guardianship in 1999, increasing the number of placements
since 1997 by 294 percent. In one year alone, 3,019 more children were
adopted than the previous year. For Fiscal Year 1999, 7,315 adoptions
increase can be attributed to the hard work of DCFS employees and private
agencies who understand a child’s need for permanency," said
Addie Hudson, state director of One Church One Child. "While the
number of DCFS adoptions has increased dramatically, we will not be
satisfied until every child has a place to call home."
children available for adoption will be present at today’s event
held at Shiloh Baptist Church where Rev. Gordon Humphrey Sr. is the
and technical assistance may be available both before and after a DCFS
foster child is adopted. An adoption hotline (800-572-2390) is available
to answer questions and to help families begin the adoption process.
People interested in becoming foster parents can call the Foster Parent
Hotline at 800-624-KIDS.
One Church One Child minority adoption campaign, founded by Father George
Clemens in Chicago in 1980, challenges primarily African-American churches
to recruit at least one family from each congregation to adopt one child.
The nationally recognized One Church One Child program has become a
model for similar partnerships in 32 states and the District of Columbia.