COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – November is National Adoption Month. It’s a time to recognize that children never outgrow the need for family and stability.
In the United States, more than 113,000 youth are waiting to be adopted. Here in Franklin County, hundreds of kids are in agency custody waiting for a forever home.
On Wednesday, Franklin County Children Services and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption joined Franklin County Probate Judge Jeffrey Mackey and his staff of magistrates.
Six families added to their family, and seven kids officially found their forever home. One family said that all children deserve to have a home.
“He trusts us, he loves us and he has chosen to have us as his forever family. We have chosen him as our son to be a part of our family forever,” said Joshua Hoffman, Adrian’s adoptive father.
Joshua and Christopher Hoffman met Adrian about one year ago. They immediately knew he was a perfect fit.
“We call them the wonder twins (Adrian and his new brother Colton), they’re like just about mere images of one another. They’re so similar and they get along so well,” Hoffman said.
The Hoffmans have fostered 67 kids in 16 years, formally adopting five of them.
“We have learned how to be better people, better parents, as well as helping them to be better people, better teenagers, better sons. We’ve all helped each other to be better,” Hoffman said.
In Franklin County, 250 children are in agency custody. However, more than half of those children are matched with families and are currently in the adoption process. A majority of children in Franklin County waiting for a forever home are ages 10 and older, often in sibling groups who need to stay together, and children who have special needs.
“I think the greatest thing they’re looking for is stability, support, nurture and guidance, just like any other youth. They are looking for freedom, freedom to make choices, freedom to do what any normal teenager would want to do in a family setting,” said Raquel Breckenridge, Franklin County Children Services (FCCS) Family Service Director.
In Franklin County, after the age of 12, you have to give consent to be adopted.
“I always say that every child deserves permanency, whether it’s with a biological family, kinship family or adoptive family,” Breckenridge said.
85 children in Franklin County are still hoping to find their forever home.
National Adoption Day is an effort to raise awareness of the more than 113,000 children waiting to be adopted from foster care in the United States. According to the National Adoption Day website, it has recognized more than 75,000 children in the U.S. moving from foster care to a forever home.
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is a national nonprofit public charity dedicated to finding permanent homes for more than 140,000 children waiting in North America’s foster care systems.
Those interested in becoming an adoptive parent in Franklin County can find more information here.