Michigan Adoption Day is November 23
Farmington Hills, Mich. —November 22, 2021 —November is National Adoption Awareness Month, and the Michigan Supreme Court and family courts recognize the month with Michigan Adoption Day, which is always held the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and celebrates the finalization of more than 100 adoptions of foster children joining their forever families. Judson Center, a multi-county human service agency and Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) has been providing adoption services since it was founded in 1924 and works with its affiliate, Child Safe Michigan, to bring together and support forever families through adoption. This year, the agency is reflecting on the sweet story of a local university researcher and former licensed foster parent at Child Safe Michigan who began his own adoption journey in 2019.
“Every adoption has its own beauty, but the story of this father – who asked to remain anonymous at his son’s request – and his teen son reflects the profound impact of adoption on children and their adoptive parents,” Michelle Carlton Program Manager for Adoption and Foster Care at Judson Center, said.
The dad had dreams of being a father and raising a son and initially had hopes of raising a toddler; however, his feelings changed in 2020 when he met his future son, now 13. In November 2020, he received a call from Judson Center asking if he would be interested in taking the placement of the teen. They quickly established a relationship and began building their future together, with the teen moving into his future father’s home on December 4, 2020.
“This dad stepped up to his new role as a parent to ensure his son’s social-emotional and physical needs were met. Whether it’s attending soccer and football games or a parent-teacher conference, he has acted as an advocate and trusted provider for his son,” Carlton said.
The father/son duo enjoy going to amusement parks together and took a recent trip to Disney World. On July 29, 2021, dad’s dream came true when he adopted his son in Oakland County Court; the newly formed family happily celebrated the adoption while surrounded by family and friends.
“National Adoption Month is a time to spread awareness about the great need for loving adoptive families. There are approximately 13,000 youth in foster care in Michigan at any given time. Of those 13,000 children, approximately 300 youth are not matched with an identified family. The need for adoptive families is strong, and the ongoing pandemic has amplified that need,” said Khadija Walker-Fobbs, Chief Strategy Officer at Judson Center and a state leader in foster care advocacy who has mentored more than 50 youth in her career.
About Judson Center
Judson Center, trusted by Michigan families for more than 97 years, is a non-profit human service agency that provides comprehensive services that strengthen children, adults and families impacted by abuse and neglect, autism, developmental, behavioral, and physical health challenges so they can achieve whole health, well-being, and maximum potential. Judson Center also offers integrated primary healthcare for all through Judson Center Family Health in Warren and is a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC). Since opening its doors in 1924, Judson Center has grown to change the lives of over 12,000 children, adults, and families each year. Judson Center has offices in Genesee, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties. Headquarters are located at 30301 Northwestern Highway, Suite 100, Farmington Hills, MI 48334-3277. Learn more at www.judsoncenter.org.