Florida family will highlight how foster care adoption can change a child's life
COLUMBUS, Ohio – This year, the National Adoption Day Coalition expects 4,500 children in foster care to find their forever families on National Adoption Day, November 17, 2012. National Adoption Day is a collective national effort to raise awareness of the more than 100,000 children in foster care waiting to find permanent, loving families.
This annual, one-day event makes the dreams of thousands of children come true by working with policymakers, practitioners and advocates to finalize adoptions, and to create and celebrate adoptive families. It is also a day to draw attention to the nearly 30,000 children who turn 18 every year without having forever families. November is also National Adoption Month.
“Today, in America, there are thousands of children in foster care who have suffered abuse or neglect at the hands of the very people who should have nurtured and protected them,” said Rita Soronen, president and CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, and member of the National Adoption Day Coalition. “The longer children are in foster care, the more at risk they are of leaving foster care without being adopted. Every child deserves a nurturing family and a safe home. We hope that National Adoption Day will encourage all individuals to consider adoption from foster care.”
This year the National Adoption Day Coalition will spotlight the Dunne Family from Tampa, Florida, who finalized the adoption of four boys from foster care on National Adoption Day in 2011, changing their lives forever.
The Dunne family tells a unique story because Tammy Dunne aged out of foster care as a teenager and her husband, Chris, was adopted as a child. After raising two girls and sending them off to college, both agreed they wanted to adopt a couple of boys from foster care. Instead, the Dunnes found four brothers who had been in and out of dozens of foster homes and had been separated from each other. Court records show that caseworkers found the boys living with their biological parents in an environment of drugs, alcohol, abuse and neglect. They officially entered foster care at the ages of 2, 4, 6 and 8.
“It was almost a year ago when my husband and I sat in a Florida courtroom on National Adoption Day with four boys sitting between us. It was such an emotional day because that was the day everything became final,” Tammy Dunne said. “Eric, Trisden, Aaron and John officially started their new lives with our family and would never again have to worry about being separated from each other.”
Since 2000, National Adoption Day has been held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and has helped nearly 40,000 children move from foster care to permanent families.
“Make a difference in the lives of children and families – join us in raising awareness of children waiting in foster care on National Adoption Day,” said Renette Oklewicz, director of the Freddie Mac Foundation and member of the National Adoption Day Coalition. “It is unacceptable that any child should not have the opportunity for a safe, loving and permanent home.”
For more information about the events taking place locally and foster care adoption, please visit nationaladoptionday.org.
National Adoption Day Coalition partners: Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Freddie Mac Foundation, Children’s Action Network, Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute and The Alliance for Children's Rights.
Senior Director, Marketing & Communications
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
Paul Werth Associates