State governmental officials say the need is there and an Omaha couple says adoption can be as fulfilling for those adopting as for the children adopted.
November is Adoption Awareness Month.
Gov. Dave Heineman held a news conference in his Capitol office to highlight the month and discuss the need.
Joining the governor was Jack and Cathy Taff of Omaha, who have adopted two older boys, ages 15 and 18. Jack Taff stated they got involved when they saw the need.
“We’ve seen too many people suffering,” Taff said during the news conference. “I’m a teacher and I’ve had a lot of different kids in foster care and who got adopted that were in my classes and I could see what a good foster or adoptive home would do.”
Taff added that it has been a great experience.
“We get as much out of it as the kids do,” according to Taff. “The children benefit from our situation and we benefit from theirs by just helping them.”
More than 200 foster children have been adopted this year. Another 130 are expected to be adopted in the coming weeks.
State Children and Family Services Director Thomas Pristow said the state never has enough families willing to participate.
“It’s always a process for us to keep looking for more folks to help us to find permanency for children,” Pristow said. “And, we’re getting a lot more older youth who are looking for permanency. Sometimes, it’s a struggle to find people to do that.”
Taff said the couple tries to give their adoptive sons a structure environment and encourage them to be successful.
Lukas, who is 18, has been with the Taffs for three years. He said the stability has allowed him to think of his future.
“I plan on going to Southeast Community College next year,” Lukas stated. “I basically plan probably on going into machine tool and die or something (similar), I’m not positive on what I’m going into, yet.”
More information about the foster children available for adoption can be found on the DHHS website at: dhhs.ne.gov/AdoptionKids <http://dhhs.ne.gov/AdoptionKids. Or, call 1-800-7-PARENT (1-800-772-7368).
AUDIO: Adoption Awareness Month Capitol news conference. [6:35]