Agency is granting wishes to exceptional adoptive families throughout November
Farmington Hills, MI – November is National Adoption Month, and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proclaimed Tuesday, November 21 as Adoption Day in the state. The non-profit human services agency Judson Center, which offers adoption services, is celebrating the families who have provided permanent homes for children and teens in foster care and bringing attention to the large number of young people still hoping to be adopted.
According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), there are more than 11,000 children in foster care in the state. Currently, there are approximately 250 children ready and waiting to join their forever families.
“Children in foster care want stability and love in their lives just like anyone else,” said Judson Center President and CEO Lenora Hardy-Foster. “Although the goal is to reunite children with their biological parents, that isn’t always possible. That is why we have an urgent need to find caring families willing to open their hearts and give these young people a safe and nurturing home.”
During fiscal year 2023, Judson Center’s Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) program helped 136 children find their forever families. MARE is a statewide information and referral service for families interested in adopting youth in foster care and serves as a resource for adoption workers looking for homes for children. MARE is funded by MDHHS.
“We provide comprehensive services to help prospective adoptive parents navigate the process of welcoming a new member to their family,” said Judson Center Chief Strategy Officer George Winn. “Our MARE program has experienced specialists who can offer firsthand knowledge and guidance to parents who may be considering adoption for the first time. Plus, the MARE website features photos and details on children and teens who are ready to be adopted. We truly are a one-stop resource for the adoption journey.”
During National Adoption Month, MARE is honoring an outstanding adoptive family each day on its Facebook page. The stories of all 30 families will be posted on the website at www.mare.org/MI-Adoption-Day.
“Each adoptive family that’s selected gets a wish granted with a value of up to $200,” explained MARE Director Michelle Parra. “These are amazing individuals who are giving children a forever family, so we help them by providing items like movie tickets, gift certificates for dinner, or school and art supplies. Whatever they might need to bring some happiness to the entire family. We also honored them earlier this month at three fun events in various locations around the state.”
Michigan Adoption Day on November 21st is observed by participating courts as a day to finalize adoptions, hold parties for adoptive families, and educate the public on the adoption process. Michigan Adoption Day is co-sponsored by the Michigan Supreme Court, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange, and the Child Welfare Services Division of the State Court Administrative Office.
Anyone interested in adopting youth in foster care can contact MARE at 800-589-6273 or through the website at www.mare.org.