As November rolls around, the Arapahoe County Human Services team is gearing up for another productive and inspiring National Adoption Month. Each year, we focus our outreach and awareness-raising efforts around an adoption-related theme to help support our professionals who dedicate every day to finding permanent homes for the children and youth who are in foster care in our communities.
On Friday, Nov. 12, Arapahoe County is celebrating National Adoption Day—which is officially Saturday, Nov. 20—at the District Courthouse, 7325 S. Potomac St. in Centennial. This will include a COVID-safe celebration in a jury room, with guests including Human Services and elected officials, as well as invitees from the approximately dozen families who will formalize their adoptions that day. The program will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the adoption hearings will begin at 9:30 a.m. in three courtrooms, which will be decorated with dolls, blankets, toys and books. Details are subject to change, and there currently is a mask mandate for anyone age 3 and older.
“It’s important for the public to know that adoptive families are valued and that there is an ongoing need for foster and adoptive families,” said District 2 Commissioner Nancy Sharpe. “There is support available to families who adopt, and the state of Colorado is continuing to expand its resources for adoptive families. Most importantly, every child deserves a loving, supportive family!”
The County adoption team has had a busy 2021. Among the highlights:
This year's National Adoption Month theme is "Conversations Matter," which refers to how incorporating youth engagement into daily child welfare practice can start with a simple conversation. We have focused our efforts on adoption for teens because we know that teens in foster care wait longer for permanency and are at higher risk of aging out than younger children. These teens need love, support, and a sense of belonging that families can provide. Securing lifelong connections for these teens, both legally and emotionally, is a critical component in determining their future achievement, health, and wellbeing. By listening to what each young person has to say, what their goals are, and how they feel about adoption, we can create an environment where they can be honest and ask questions.
Among the key statistics:
Source: Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS)