Each November, families across the country finalize adoptions and celebrate the creation of new families and connections.
On National Adoption Day, which is celebrated on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, a special effort is made to finalize as many pending adoptions as possible. Last year, over 4,000 adoptions were finalized on this day.
While I’m sure that this day will look a little different this year due to the coronavirus, I’m confident family courts and child welfare agencies will still make it a special day for many families.
The pandemic has created significant challenges for the children and families in our child welfare system. With travel restrictions and limits on visitors in hospitals, adoptive parents are meeting their children for the first time over video-chat, instead of in person.
Kids in foster care are having to wait longer for placements, and foster parents are facing the added stress of school closures. Court proceedings are taking place over Zoom.
Despite the challenges, both new and old, that can accompany adoption, parents in Iowa and across the country are still making the choice to open their hearts and homes to children in need.
Congress has worked in the past to reduce barriers that would-be adoptive parents face.
I’ll continue my efforts to make sure adoption remains an option for children in foster care who can’t be reunited with their family, women facing an unexpected pregnancy and all parents willing and able to provide a safe and loving home for kids in need.
There were over 100,000 children in the foster care system waiting for adoption in 2019.
Congress must work in a bipartisan way – as it has for many years – to make sure adoption can become a reality, not just a dream, for all of these kids.
We must also make sure child welfare agencies have the tools and flexibilities that they need to serve the families in their communities.
For years in the Senate, I have worked to elevate the voices of youth in the foster care system. They are their own best advocates, and they can tell you that the thing they want most is a caring and loving family.
As I continue to work in Congress toward the goal of helping all children find their forever family, I will always keep in best interests of children at the forefront.