Today eleven new families were created just in time for the holidays, as seventeen children were adopted into their forever home.
“These wonderful families have been waiting for their forever families for more than a year,” said Emma Gorena, Adoption Supervisor for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
There are Currently 81 children in the Rio Grande who are waiting to be adopted: 32 in Cameron County, 46 in Hidalgo County, 2 in Starr, and 1 in Willacy.
“Our job is to make sure that we find them a permanent home, safe and stable home environment to provide nurturing and caring love for the children,” said Jennifer Soto, Adoption Specialist for Child Protective Services.
In South Texas there are a total of 342 Children hoping to be part of a forever family, and one mother who adopted her second child today offers words of encouragement for parents who are considering taking this huge step.
“Don’t be afraid to do it it’s not hard a lot of people think it’s really expensive and it’s really not, especially through foster care. There’s many kids out there needing homes, teenagers especially, they’re not bad kids like most people think, they’re really sweet, they just need somebody to show them love and care and that they are there for them,” said Tiffany Brown.
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services will hold foster/adoption information meetings December 3 in Harlingen at 11 Am at the DFPS office and Edinburg at 6 PM at the DFPS office.
Basic Requirements for Foster/ Adoption
The prospective foster/adoptive parents may be single or married and must:
•be at least 21 years of age, financially stable, and responsible mature adults,
•complete an application (staff will assist you, if you prefer),
•share information regarding their background and lifestyle,
•provide relative and non-relative references,
•show proof of marriage and/or divorce (if applicable),
•agree to a home study which includes visits with all household members,
•allow staff to complete a criminal history background check and an abuse/neglect check on all adults in the household, and
•attend free training to learn about issues of abused and neglected children.
The training provides an opportunity for the family and DFPS to assess whether foster care or adoption is best for the family. The family may withdraw from the meetings at any time. There is no charge for the meetings. Foster/adoptive parents generally train together.
Additional Foster Care Requirements
In addition to the basic requirements, foster parents must:
•have adequate sleeping space.
•allow no more than 6 children in the home including your own children or children for whom you provide day care.
•agree to a nonphysical discipline policy.
•permit fire, health and safety inspections of the home.
•vaccinate all pets.
•obtain and maintain CPR/First Aid Certification.
•obtain TB testing as required by the local Health Department for household members.
•attend 20 hours or more of training each year.
Responsibilities of Foster and Adoptive Families
• provide daily care and nurturing of children in foster care;
•advocate for children in their schools and communities;
•inform the children’s caseworkers about adjustments to the home, school, and community, as well as any problems that may arise, including any serious illnesses, accidents, or serious occurrences involving the foster children or their own families;
•make efforts as team members with children’s caseworkers towards reunifying children with their birth families;
•provide a positive role model to birth families and help children learn life skills.
•provide permanent homes and a lifelong commitment to children into adulthood;
•provide for the short-term and long-term needs of children;
•provide for children’s emotional, mental, physical, social, educational, and cultural needs, according to each child’s developmental age and growth;
•may become certified as a foster family and accept children who are not legally free for adoption, but whose permanency plan is adoption.