Illinois DCFS Joining State Sen. Cervantes and State Rep. Ortiz at Thanksgiving Resource Fair in Chicago
November is Adoption Awareness Month in Illinois
Marion, IL - Twenty-eight children in foster care will have their adoptions finalized this morning at the Williamson County Courthouse in Marion, joining 15 youth in care at a similar event at the Winnebago County Criminal Justice Center in Rockford, eight youth at the Richard J. Daley Center in Chicago and families in more than 400 communities across the country to celebrate National Adoption Day.
Williamson County Circuit Court Judge Amanda Byassee Gott, Illinois DCFS and private agency staff will come together to make the day memorable for these new families. Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. and the finalizations will begin at 9 a.m. A celebration, including refreshments for the families, will follow.
"I am so pleased to preside over National Adoption Day proceedings in Williamson County again this year. Presiding as the judge over adoption proceedings where children find their forever homes is truly one of the best things I do as a member of the judiciary," said Judge Amanda Byassee Gott. "I look forward to this event and seeing the smiling faces of children and families every year."
"It is our mission to ensure that every child in Illinois grows up in a safe and loving family," said Illinois DCFS Director Marc D. Smith. "During Adoption Awareness Month we encourage Illinoisans to get involved and become licensed foster, adoptive or guardianship parents to children who need them and celebrate the thousands of families across the state that have been made whole though adoption."
"National Adoption Day is always the Saturday before Thanksgiving, allowing families to come together not only to celebrate the adoption but further enhance gratefulness this time of year," said Wendy Ingersoll, DCFS southern region administrator. "The World may not change because you adopt, but for that child their world will change."
Last fiscal year, 1,939 Illinois children were adopted into permanent families. Today, there are 19,835 youth in care waiting for a family and a place to call home. To learn more about some of them, visit the Heart Gallery of Illinois at https://greenlightfamilyservices.org/heartgalleryofil/. For more information about becoming an adoptive parent, visit dcfs.illinois.gov and click on "Loving Homes" then on "Become a Foster or Adoptive Parent."
Adoption is a serious and permanent commitment to a child. DCFS offers a range of supports to adoptive families, including reimbursement for attorney fees and court costs, a monthly subsidy, a medical card and other benefits which assist in defraying expenses associated with raising a child. Many considering adoption become licensed foster families first, giving them a better understanding of the needs of children from disrupted families before making a life-changing decision.
National Adoption Day, held annually on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, is a collective, national effort to raise awareness of the more than 113,000 youth in foster care who are waiting for families to call their own. National Adoption Day has made the dreams of thousands of children come true by working with courts, judges, attorneys, adoption professionals, child welfare agencies, advocates and policymakers to finalize adoptions and create and celebrate adoptive families. Since its inception in 2000, National Adoption Day has helped more than 75,000 children across the country move from foster care to forever families. To learn more about National Adoption Day, visit www.nationaladoptionday.org.
About the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Founded in 1964, DCFS is responsible for protecting children from abuse or neglect by responding to calls received on the Child Abuse Hotline, 1-800-25-ABUSE (1-800-252-2873). With the goal of keeping children safe, DCFS strengthens and supports families with a wide range of services. When keeping a child safe means removing them from the home, DCFS makes every effort to reunite them with their family. When the best interest of the child makes this impossible, DCFS is committed to pursuing guardianship or adoption by loving families to provide children with a safe and permanent home. DCFS is also responsible for licensing and monitoring of all Illinois child welfare agencies.