Our needs don’t go away during a pandemic – they increase. That is especially true for children in Miami-Dade County who are currently in the foster care system. With November being National Adoption Month, agencies like Citrus Family Care Network (CFCN), who manages foster care and adoptions programs in the county, decided not to be deterred by the limitations imposed by the pandemic and adjusted to make sure that adoptions, and the joy they bring, went ahead.
Thirty children were officially adopted on National Adoption Day, Friday, November 20, and those who helped make those adoptions possible would not let the day go by without celebration.
“We can’t get together like we usually do, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate National Adoption Month and Day, said Leslie Veiga, director of communications at CFCN. “This is one of the happiest days in child welfare every single year and we couldn’t let this year pass by without a similar celebration.”
Instead of holding the National Adoption Day at Miami Children’s Museum as CFCN typically does, a decision was made to spread out the celebration over two-days and to transition some of the pomp and circumstance to the online world.
“We moved it to a virtual platform for the first time,” Veiga explained. The event featured a National Adoption Day program followed by judges from the Unified Children’s Court Division of Florida’s Eleventh Judicial Circuit presiding over the adoption finalizations from virtual courtrooms.
The next day, the new forever families were taken to Dave and Buster’s to have a family photo taken, to enjoy some refreshments and enjoy the venue, all with social distancing guidelines followed, of course. During the course of the month, CFCN also sent families taking part in the adoptions party decorations and favors, as well as personalized items to decorate the homes and help with the celebration. “We (took) the party to them!” Veiga said.
National Adoption Day is a nationwide effort to raise awareness of the more than 125,000 children waiting to be adopted from foster care in the United States. National Adoption Day, which takes place during National Adoption Month, is a collective national effort to raise awareness about those children who need permanent, loving families. Miami-Dade’s National Adoption Day event brings that effort to our local community. There are more than 1,500 children in the child welfare system in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. Of those children, more than 100 are currently available for adoption.
For more information on how to become a foster parent or adopt a child in Miami-Dade County visit the Miami Heart Gallery, where you can see and read about children who are waiting to be adopted. You can also visit citrusfcn.com to learn about what it takes to become a foster parent or adopt a child, or call 1-855-786-KIDS, or 305-455-6000.