All are invited to celebrate children officially joining their new families, as Clallam County joins communities across the nation in recognizing National Adoption Day.
County representatives host a local recognition of the day with “official” adoptions at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16, inside Courtroom 3 at the Clallam County Courthouse (second floor), 223 E. Fourth St., Port Angeles.
According to national statistics, more than 115,000 children are still waiting to be adopted from foster care homes in the United States.
County officials say more than 75,000 children in foster care have been adopted through National Adoption Day events.
Rachel Munoz McCormick, Family and Juvenile Court Improvement Plan coordinator for Clallam County Superior Court, said this event is the 13th held in Clallam County and 24th overall in Washington state. She said two or three legal adoptions are lined up for the local event, with gifts for the children being presented and more information available to attendees about the importance of foster care locally and nationwide.
McCormick said there are about 87 children in child welfare and court oversight situations. That number is lower than in previous years, she noted, primarily because of significant reform in the past year surrounding adoptions — particularly House Bill 1227, the Keeping Families Together Act, passed in July. The act recognizes that, according to Family and Youth Justice Programs officials, “forcibly removing a child from their home is inherently traumatic.”
Said McCormick, “The intent was causing less harm [to children in care],” but what happened was that some cases weren’t getting filed at all.
“In fairness, there’s been a lot more emphasis on guardianship than adoption,” she said.
For more information, contact Sherri Dobbins Jones, adoption specialist with the Department of Children Youth and Families, at 360-477-8607 or firstname.lastname@example.org.