DOVER – Delaware’s stakeholders and special guests marked National Adoption Day in person this year, with a program at The Elizabeth W. Murphey School in Dover that celebrated families born through adoption and the support resources available to them.
Delaware Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long joined representatives from the Delaware Division of Family Services and members of the Interagency Committee on Adoption Nov. 19 to celebrate adoption ceremonies for three families, as well as recognize the nearly 40 families who grew their families through adoptions this year.
“We know there is nothing more important than how we treat our aging and our youth,” said Lt. Gov. Hall-Long, expressing gratitude for all foster families providing care to children in need, the families adopting and the workers and Family Court judges who connected them. “It takes a village raising our children and thank you, each.”
In a video message, Gov. John Carney said, “A home is something many of us take for granted, but it’s so much more than just four walls. A home can represent a loving family, a safe place and a welcoming environment for children and youth. That’s why adoption can be such a special experience for children and families. We want to do everything we can to support you on this journey. And your voices and experiences matter. I hope you will use them to encourage others to open their homes and hearts to consider adoption in Delaware.”
Lt. Gov. Hall-Long presented a proclamation, signed by herself and Gov. Carney, declaring Nov. 19 as National Adoption Day and recognizing November as National Adoption Month.
During the celebration, Delaware Family Court judges Felice G. Kerr and James McGiffin finalized adoptions for three families in front of dozens of loved ones, friends, community advocates and social workers.
“I wanted to share some gratitude for both the families and the children who are becoming a family today. It’s exciting to be a part of that. You are all giving each other a gift of unconditional love, and what that means to another human being is something that really can’t be described with words,” said Josette Manning, secretary of the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families.
“At the end of the day, your family will love you for the rest of your life and be there for you.”
While the recognition month has ended, the critical work of connecting children with families through adoption continues every day.
Interagency Committee on Adoption chairs Meredith Hypes and Courtney Penhollow spoke to the importance of permanency for youth.
“National Adoption Day is a shared effort to raise awareness of children waiting in foster care for families to make a lifetime commitment to them through adoption. In Delaware, we have 34 children for whom we are actively recruiting adoptive families. Permanency through adoption is intended to provide the continuity, commitment, and legal and social status children deserve into adulthood and beyond. All children have the right to the relational permanency that supports and enhances their ability to reach their life’s greatest potential.”
Families are encouraged to take advantage of the permanency resources available through the Division of Family Services and its partner agencies A Better Chance for our Children, Children’s Choice and Children & Families First.
Help ranges from individualized family support, groups for adults and teens, training sessions, parent coaching, specialized childcare, respite care, sibling, individual and family counseling, crisis management and more.
“Before you need them, reach out. Let them be a part of your village. Create that village around you. We want to be here all of the time,” Division of Family Services Director Trenee Parker said. “Our goal is to really be a part of making your family safe, stable and full of love.”
To learn about the children in Delaware seeking an adoptive family, visit here.