PLAINFIELD – This National Adoption Month, State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) is highlighting resources available on his website for families interested in adoption in Illinois. National Adoption Month began in 1995 with President Bill Clinton after President Ronald Reagan began National Adoption Week in 1984 to increase national awareness of adoption issues. This month also brings attention to the need for adoptive families for teens in the U.S. foster care system and emphasizes the value of youth engagement.
“Adoption changes lives for all involved,” said Rep. Batinick. “This National Adoption Month, we think about the small steps we have to take with our children and parents to grow our relationships, realizing they weren’t so small when we look back on them. I highly encourage Illinois parents who are considering adoption to look more into it and start taking those small steps. The joy that parenthood and adoption can bring to a family is immeasurable and can help us find ways to love we didn’t know were possible.”
According to a Fiscal Year 2020 report, over 117,000 children and youth at risk of aging out of foster care without permanent family connections were waiting to be adopted. Of those children, 52% were male, the average age was eight years old, and more than one in five were teenagers.
The theme for this year’s National Adoption Month is “Small Steps Open Doors.” This theme shows that pursuing permanency for teens can be challenging, but small steps along the way can make all the difference. In recent years, this month has focused on adoption for teens because teenagers in foster care wait longer for permanency than younger children and are at a higher risk of aging out. Securing lifelong connections for teenagers legally and emotionally is a critical component in determining their future well-being.
Rep. Batinick has information available for families interested in adoption in Illinois on his website here. For families interested in fostering children in Illinois, Rep. Batinick also has information available on his website here.