Ten local children will join six permanent, loving families Friday in a mass adoption ceremony scheduled to celebrate National Adoption Month. Visit https://www.hckids.org/adoption-day-2014/ to see the happy event. It starts at 9 a.m.!
While adoption finalizations are normally confidential, the families have agreed to publicize today’sceremony. The full ceremony – scheduled for 9 a.m. in Judge James Cissell’s Hamilton County Probate Court — will be live-streamed over the Internet for all of Hamilton County to see.
Hamilton County Job and Family Services is teaming with the county’s Probate Court to organize the eighth annual mass adoption ceremony. The children, all victims of abuse and neglect, will join new families in an emotional ceremony and celebrate afterwards with their caseworkers, court-appointed advocates, extended families and other people special to their lives.
“We help nearly 17,000 children a year and we deal with a lot of sad stories — but on this day, it is all smiles. This is a day of joy,” said Moira Weir, director of the county’s Job and Family Services department. “Foster children become adopted children. That means the world to them. They now know they have a family to love them forever. We will see grins that stretch ear to ear, and quite a few tears, too. This is always an emotional day.”
This year’s ceremony includes children from ages 1 to 8 and two sibling sets. Among the stories:
- Two sisters, 5 and 4, will be adopted by their long-time foster parents, who have had them in care since they were each a few months old. Both girls have blossomed and fit right in with the family’s two older daughters. The family has maintained relationships with those raising the girls’ older biological brother and sister, helping maintain family ties.
- A 1-year-old boy will be adopted by the foster mother who took him in shortly after he was born. The foster mother has four older adopted children and this happy, smiling boy is a great addition to the family.
- A 7-year-old girl will be adopted by the foster family who took her in two years ago. She has three teenage siblings to teach her the ways of life.
- A 1-year-old girl who was welcomed into her foster family’s home at three days old will become a permanent member of their family. It is a good thing, because she already is the center of attention.
- Four siblings will be adopted by the foster parents who have cared for them since March 2011. The 8-year-old boy and his sisters, ages 7, 6 and 5, are a close sibling group who are ecstatic to remain together with foster parents they have come to love.
- A 3-year-old girl will be adopted by a family that already has an 11-year-old daughter to teach her the ropes. She is part of a family where a cousin is also adopted, so the whole extended family is embracing these children as their own.
Hamilton County investigates more than 5,000 reports of child abuse and neglect each year. When intensive services fail and a child can no longer remain safe in a parent’s care and an available relative cannot be found, the county will seek custody of the child. If continued attempts at reunification fail, that child will become available for adoption and the county will attempt to find a safe and loving adoptive home.
The agency currently has about 200 children available for adoption, the lowest number in years. The Nov. 21 ceremony stands as a symbol for all of the adoptions the agency does – more than 80 so far in 2014.
The children available for adoption come from a variety of backgrounds, neighborhoods, economic circumstances and living situations. They may have varying levels of medical, emotional or behavioral problems. They all bring their own personalities, strengths, interests and gifts.
But they all have one thing in common: the desire for a loving family and sense of permanency.
Any Ohio resident over 18 years old is eligible. Adoptive parents must:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Pass a physical to show they are in good physical health and capable of caring for children
- Pass a local, state and federal (if not a resident of Ohio for the past five years) background check
- Pass a home study process (includes fire inspection as well as other rules and regulations)
- Pass more than 30 hours of specialized training
Those interested in adopting or becoming foster parents can learn more at www.hckids.org or by calling (513) 632-6366 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.