INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Right now in Indiana, hundreds of kids are waiting to be adopted into their forever homes.
National Adoption Awareness Month in November is meant to increase not only awareness of adoption but also the number of families who take that step.
Indiana had more than 1,800 adoptions in fiscal year 2017. But still, the need is great.
Children’s Bureau, Inc. reports that, at any given time, 150-200 children are available for adoption in Indiana.
Nationwide, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption shows more than 114,000 kids are available for adoption. The typical child is at least 8 years old, has moved at least three times in foster care and may be separated from siblings. They show tens of thousands will never be adopted, and at age 18 they leave the system with no family.
Locally, the Children’s Bureau tries to find them forever homes before that happens.
“One of the challenges, I would say, to finding parents who will take in teenagers is getting families to understand a history of trauma and the special needs that might arise from that,” said Anna Wolak with Children’s Bureau, Inc.
One local Indiana family who adopted says the process is long, but it’s worth it.
“Some of my favorites are Christmas was very fun because he moved in right before Christmas,” said Taylor Eckert who adopted 10-year-old “D” with her husband, Nathan, last year.
They couple attended a meet and greet and said they knew the rambunctious 10-year-old was perfect for their family.
“He definitely keeps us busy,” Eckert said. “He brings a lot of joy.”
Studies show, every year more kids enter the system than are adopted from it.
For those considering adoption, the process includes training, background checks and a home study.
Click here to see kids who are available for adoption in Indiana.