17 kids get forever families in Franklin County on National Adoption Day
Seventeen children will be tucked into beds at their "forever homes" after an adoption ceremony at the Franklin County Courthouse.
November is National Adoption Month and Thursday's 18th annual event is raising awareness of more than 110,000 children in foster care nationwide needing permanent, loving families.
Probate Judge Robert Montgomery and his staff of magistrates finalized the adoptions of 17 children to six families. Several local attorneys offered their services pro bono to help families.
Rita Soronon, President and CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption said too many Americans still think that children are in care because they did something wrong. "Nothing could be further from the truth. These are children who are there through no fault of their own," said Soronon.
Franklin County Children's Services said their numbers are on the rise because of the opiate epidemic. Soronon said they are seeing the trend across the country, not just in Central Ohio. "We are seeing double digit increases of children coming into care directly attributed to the substance issues with their family."
Mary Daniels already had 3 kids but said when she found out 4 children of family friends were needing foster care, she stepped up when the biological parents could not. "They need to feel they belong. They want that connection," said Bailey.
Asked what she would tell other people considering adoption, Daniels said.
"Open your heart, it's not alway easy but if you just open your heart and have open minds everything will fall together, you just got to believe in God."
According to Franklin County Children's Services, they currently have 283 adoptable children in the system. That compares to 227 a year ago at this time. FCCS said they finalized 170 adoptions in 2016.