November is “National Adoption Month” and an Iowa group is asking everyone to look around their community and see if there are opportunities to adopt. Iowa KidsNet director Amy Juhnke says on average in Iowa, there are 600 kids available from foster care on a day-to-day basis.
While her group works with foster care adoptions, she says the month celebrates all adoptions from international to private adoptions. Juhnke says they are always looking for people willing to take kids in from foster care. Juhnke says the process to adopt a foster child is similar to becoming a licensed foster parent, and they have many parents who are foster parents and adopt foster kids. She says you go through the process and they offer training.
The training involves 10 three hour classes. She says it involves anything from classes on parenting to learning about the kids in foster care. Juhnke says they also provide free support to families after the adoption. Juhnke says they’d really like people to think about adopting kids who’re going to be “aging out” of the foster care system.
Juhnke says those are kids who’re going to be moving out of the system when they turn 18 and will be on their own. “So if everybody would just take a minute and imagine what it’s like to graduate from high school and not have a family there to congratulate you, or help prepare you for your first job,” Juhnke says, “or if you get engaged, not to have a family there to support you to be excited about things like that. And just basically to help guide you in life. All those things that your family and parents did for you.”
Iowa KidsNet will be holding some statewide events, including a balloon launch and adoption Saturdays. Find out more about the events at: www.iowakidsnet.com.