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Do More Adoptive Families Need Support?

This 2009 picture provided by Bring Into Being shows, from left, Sue Unkenholz, children Yineth and Tavio, and her husband, Ward Sutton in New York. Credit : MSNBC.com

It sounds like a question that would not be an issue. For many adoption is an amazingly happy time filled with joy, but for a select few families they are left with struggles not only emotionally, but financially after taking in foster children from The United States or overseas orphanages.

This Thursday, the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute released a report (Keeping The Promise) stating too many adoptive families are not receiving essential support while adopting and raising children that have previously been in less than ideal homes. For example – children that have been in abusive families, neglected, or worse.

While most of these families are doing fine, there are still some that are slipping through the cracks today, just like their children did previously to being adopted.

In the past two decades there have been significant changes in the number of infant adoptions in The United States, which has dropped to around 14,000 a year, and the out-of-foster care adoptions, often with children who have suffered some kind of neglect or abuse has soured from 31,000 in 1997, to 57,000 in 2009. These numbers also exclude the 12, 753 International adoptions which also include a large percentage of special needs, or special physiological issues which need attention.  With numbers like this – the extra services, and care for these families are essential!

How does the report suggest changed be made?  The MSNBC.com report includes :

Convene a national task force to propose improvements in post-adoption policy, conduct more research to assess effective support practices, and dedicate federal funding for post-adoption services.

While some of the medical needs of these families can be covered through medicaid, not all are. But many believe this coverage should be expanded, including Alan Abramowitz, director of Florida’s Family Safety Office.

Adoption is an amazing thing for children in need, and today we still have over 154,000 children looking for homes through the United States Foster Care System. Spreading the word, as well as providing better support for the adoptive parents, and families of these children are key into getting them places in loving, and safe homes.

How do you think we should help support these adoptive parents and families?

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