State officials are focusing attention on more than 300 children waiting for adoption into a good home.
November is Adoption Awareness Month.
Andrea Walter of Lincoln, along with her husband Adam, adopted three children in 2012 after taking them in as foster children. She says while some couples aren’t in a position to adopt, they can help by becoming foster parents.
“I think some people are scared to be foster parents, because they worry about developing a connection with children who could ultimately go back to biological parents,” Walter tells reporters during a news conference host by Gov. Dave Heineman. “I worried about the same things, but to be honest, it’s the kids that really need the help. We need to think about their needs more than about our own feelings.”
The Walters will adopt another child during Adoption Day ceremonies Saturday in Lincoln.
In Nebraska, 322 children are available for adoption. About that many children have been adopted in Nebraska so far this year.
Walter says state lawmakers need to become more aware of the number of children who need homes.
Her husband, Adam Walter, suggests lawmakers need to provide more funding for adoption. He says more families would adopt children, if they had the means to do so.
“For policy makers, the one thing I’d really would like to encourage is that there be more assistance for lower-income families,” Adam Walter says. “The way the reimbursements work right now are based upon your tax liability and so, if you’re a poorer family and you have no tax liability, there’s no help for you.”
The Walters used the Adoption Tax Credit to finance their adoptions.
Thomas Pristow, Director of Children and Family Services in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), says that at the end of October, 326 children have been adopted in the state this year. During National Adoption Month observances in courtrooms across the state in November, another 122 foster children will be adopted.
Of the children available for adoption, 73 are on the state website. The site includes photos and a short description of the children. You can access it, by clicking here.
Persons considering adoption also may call 1-800-7PARENT (1-800-772-7368).
AUDIO: Gov. Dave Heineman hosts a news conference on November as Adoption Awareness Month. [7 min.]