Approximately 1,200 children in Florida's foster care system had their adoptions finalized over the holiday season. About another 1,200 foster children were at least able to visit relatives throughout the state. This was all part of what was called the "Home for the Holidays" initiative.
The program was designed to expedite adoptions currently scheduled and amended visitation periods so that children could spend more time with their families close to Christmas time. This was all done with the collaboration of attorneys, judges, guardians, foster parents, case managers and child welfare officials.
One foster parent took on a child as he remembers what it was like when he was also a child and in the foster care system. "Unfortunately, the system has a lot of children who need a home," he was quoted as saying.
There are currently 750 children in the state that are waiting for someone to decide upon adopting them. The majority of these children are teenagers or children with special needs, and many do need mentors. However, more than provide interest or a temporary home, the goal is to find a permanent home for these children.
The adoption system at times can be notoriously slow. Parents that seek to adopt children must prove themselves to be fit parents, go through a variety of background checks, fill out a great deal of paperwork, and need to meet with a number of officials both in and outside of the legal system. It's always helpful to have an attorney that understands the family law system to guide one through these obstacles.
Yet by being patient there are rewards at the end of the process for both the prospective parents and adopted child.
Source: The Dayton Beach News-Journal, "Youths across Florida get Christmas wish - families," by Deborah Circelli, Dec. 24, 2012
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