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Contact: Lorrie Thompson, lorrie.thompson@courts.wa.gov
Contact: Mindy Chambers, chambms@dshs.wa.gov
November 13, 2013
Finding family: Foster children will join new families Nov. 15-23 during National Adoption Day celebrations


Finding family:  Foster children will join new families

Nov. 15-23 during National Adoption Day celebrations


OLYMPIA - An adoption hearing is the end of one family story and the beginning of a new one for a foster child and his or her adoptive parents. These hearings are not open to the public with the exception of a few days in November when courts and communities across Washington and the U.S. celebrate National Adoption Day.


Adopting parents and court officials agree to open hearings for these events, inviting the public and media in to celebrate the beginnings of new families. More than 140 foster children will be adopted during hearings and celebrations in 21 counties, most scheduled between Nov. 15 and 23. Some events will also celebrate adoptions that occurred in their county during the past year.  


Celebrating counties include:


Benton/Franklin                       King                             Clallam                        Whatcom

Skagit                                      Kitsap                          Chelan/Douglas          Clark

Yakima                                    Mason                         Snohomish                  Lewis

Cowlitz                                    Spokane                      Island              

Pierce                                      Thurston                      Asotin/Garfield


For details on a specific county’s event, go to www.courts.wa.gov/newsinfo/adoptionDay/?fa=adoptionDay.home


The goal of National Adoption Day is to raise awareness of the many hundreds of foster children in Washington state who are waiting to be adopted into new families. Currently, more than 8,300 Washington children live in foster care and more than 1,600 are legally free — meaning their biological parents' rights have been terminated by the courts — and ready to join new families.


“It would be difficult to over-emphasize how important adoption is to children who are no longer with their birth parents,”said King County Superior Court Judge Dean Lum, Chairman of the Washington State National Adoption Day Steering Committee, who was himself an adopted child. “A loving parent or parents and a place to call home provide that foundation every child needs to help them move forward.'


“It's great to be able to celebrate the adoption of more than 1,200 kids from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013,' said DSHS Children's Administration Assistant Secretary Jennifer Strus. “We congratulate the parents and kids for creating forever families.”


National Adoption Day was founded by a handful of courts, child welfare agencies and businesses in 2000 to raise awareness of the thousands of foster children awaiting adoption. Washington's statewide celebration was launched in 2005 by the state Supreme Court Commission on Children in Foster Care and is co-sponsored by the Department of Social and Health Services Children’s Administration, the Administrative Office of the Courts the Superior Court Judges' Association, and by WARM 106.9's Teddy Bear Patrol program.


CONTACT:  King County Superior Court Judge Dean Lum, Chair, Washington State National Adoption Day Steering Committee, (206) 296-9295, dean.lum@kingcounty.gov.



DSHS does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.