WHAT: Santa Clara County Social Services Agency and Santa Clara County Superior Court are joining forces to celebrate National Adoption Day. The event’s goal is to increase public awareness of the need for adoptive parents, to educate would-be parents about the adoptive process, and to celebrate the local families who have opened their lives to children in need of permanent homes. This year, 19 Santa Clara County Superior Court judges and employees from the Court and the Department of Families and Children’s Services will forgo their regular duties to turn the Downtown Courthouse into “Adoption Central,” and assist in expediting the processing of paperwork to finalize the placement of up to 30 children into adoptive homes. WHO: County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors Santa Clara County Social Services Agency Department of Family and Children’s Services, DFCS Local Adoption Agencies and Adopting Families
WHEN AND WHERE:
WHY: Preliminary 2011 information provided by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services to the National Adoption Day Coalition estimates that there are over 408,485 foster care children in the United States, and over 107,000 of them are waiting for adoption. Since 1987, the number of children in foster care has nearly doubled, and the average time a child remains in foster care has lengthened to nearly three years. Each year approximately 28,000 children in foster care will age out of the system without ever being placed with a permanent family. On National Adoption Day, courts and communities in all 50 states collaborate to finalize thousands of adoptions of children and to honor adopting families. More than 350 community events are held each year to finalize the adoptions of children in foster care and celebrate adoptive families. According to the National Adoption Day Campaign, since its inception in 2000, the National Adoption Day effort has helped over 25,000 children find permanent, loving families. BACKGROUND: Sometimes children in Santa Clara County need adoptive families to provide permanence. Over half of children in need of a permanent home are placed with relatives. When children are not fortunate enough to be with their birth families, Santa Clara County Social Services Agency relies on relatives and community members to support these children with permanent homes and families. Santa Clara County has processed over 7,000 adoptions in the past 51 years. Every year, 150 to 200 children in this county are adopted. Residents interested in becoming foster parents or adoptive parents should call (408) 299-KIDS. The process includes participation in a 10-week training program called PRIDE and completing a home study program with assistance from the Department of Families and Children’s Services staff. Families and others interested in the foster parent or adoption process can visit the Court’s website at http://www.scselfservice.org/probate/minor/adoption.htm or the check DFCS information at the Social Services Agency’s website: http://www.sccgov.org/sites/ssa Although proceedings are generally confidential, the Court is allowing media coverage during National Adoption Day to increase public awareness about the adoption process in Santa Clara County. The hearings themselves will be closed, but the court will notify participating families that there will be media representatives present after the hearings and family members may be asked to comment about their experiences, for publication or broadcast. Only those who agree to media interviews will be wearing tags with colored balloons printed on them. The County asks the media to respect individual’s decisions and only approach those who are wearing the balloon tags. MEDIA DISCLAIMER Media organizations requesting permission to photograph, record or videotape this event must submit the completed forms MC-500 and MC-510 (Rule 1.150, California Rules of Court) prior to the event. Requests must be faxed to the Court Administration Office at (408) 882-2779 by Thursday, November 17 before 5:00 p.m.
Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Marina Hinestrosa, Office of Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119; Jean Pennypacker Family Court Resources SCC Superior Court, (408) 882-2718; Nicole Huff, Social Services Agency (408) 491-6750. Posted: November 3, 2011