By John Michaelson
Minnesota News Service
ST. PAUL, Minn. (Dec. 24, 2013) — It’s a special Christmas Eve for hundreds of children across Minnesota who again have families and “forever homes”.
According to Mary Mason, who is the executive director of the Minnesota Adoption Resource Network, last year alone, more than 500 kids in the foster-care system were adopted.
“We are making progress in getting the word about about the need for these kids to have families and many of the people are stepping forward,” she said. “So that is the good news, but we definitely need more families to step forward.”
Currently in Minnesota, there are around 10,000 children in family foster homes.
Mason noted that those most difficult to place are older children, as many would-be adoptive parents want babies or toddlers, and often that means looking overseas.
“We see many families that spend an inordinate amount of money to go to other countries to find kids, when there are kids right here,” Mason said. “And what we try to say is that ‘There is joy in adopting kids when they’re older.’ It’s a different experience, obviously, than when you adopt someone that’s an infant or a toddler, but there’s a definite need.”
Those who age out of the foster care system without ever finding permanent homes are more likely to have negative outcomes in areas such as unplanned pregnancies, education and employment.
Minnesota foster care information is at bit.ly/JZRa1Q.