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We’ve been very busy here lately with our SWAN teen matching events. On April 10, 2010 we hosted a Teen Party in Lancaster, PA. 20 teens and 21 families approved to adopt attended and had a very good time getting acquainted and doing a variety of activities. After the party, we exchanged additional information between the families’ social worker and the youth social workers so that they can follow up.

On May 1st we had the chance to do some additional follow up. The youth and the families joined us for a laser tag party where we played laser tag, ate lunch, played arcade games and saw a laser show. This gave the youth and families an opportunity to spend more time together in a fun environment.

As of now, many of the families have expressed interest in the youth. We are very hopeful that in the near future we will know of the new families that have been created as a result of the SWAN teen matching events!

 

Hello All,
This Sunday our Center hosted a table at the annual Sunday Out. This year’s Sunday Out was hosted at the Piazzia in Northern Liberties. The NAC staff spoke to many families about the adoption process. Do you know that most of the LGBT population does not know that they can adopt? Not sure who created the rule of the traditional family, but from my experience, family are those who stick with you through the good times and the bad times. Family are those who you can rely on to be there when you are sick, happy, sad, need forgiving, need to be forgiven, and all that other mushy stuff that goes along with LOVE. It felt good to break some myths about adoption and hand out our LGBT booklet of frequently asked questions on LGBT adoptions.

If you would like a copy of our FAQ on LGBT adoptions, please contact me to get one sent to you. Whether it be for you a friend or just some good old public awareness, get informed and spread the word! If you have a home, lots of love to give, practice a great deal of patience for imperfections, and have no criminal history, please open up your hearts and home to one of our waiting children. It does not matter if you are married, single, red, or blue, our kids need a family to love them and a place to feel safe.

SMART:-)

The words below are taken from President Obama’s Proclamation that May is National Foster Care Month:

Nearly a half-million children and youth are in foster care in America, all entering the system through no fault of their own. During National Foster Care Month, we recognize the promise of children and youth in foster care, as well as former foster youth. We also celebrate the professionals and foster parents who demonstrate the depth and kindness of the human heart.

Children and youth in foster care deserve the happiness and joy every child should experience through family life and a safe, loving home. Families provide children with unconditional love, stability, trust, and the support to grow into healthy, productive adults. Unfortunately, too many foster youth reach the age at which they must leave foster care and enter adulthood without the support of a permanent family.

This month, caring foster parents and professionals across our Nation will celebrate the triumphs of children and youth in foster care as they work to remove barriers to reaching a permanent family. Federal, State, and local government agencies, communities, and individuals all have a role to play as well. Together, we can ensure that young people in foster care have the opportunities and encouragement they need to realize their full potential.

The National Adoption Center believes that children in foster care do hold great promise, but to achieve that to its fullest, we also believe thatadoption is the solution, regardless of age. 

Last night we had our annual gala. It was a fun night resulting from the culmination of much work on behalf of staff, board members, sponsors and volunteers. To everyone that supported yesterday evening’s Celebration of Family, we thank you!

The Please Touch Museum served as a spectacular backdrop for over 200 guests as we honored Rev. Dr. Lorina Marshall-Blake for her commitment to the way children grow up. Entertainment Chair Melissa Codkind along with her daughter Rachel and the Junior Friends of Adoption helped to ensure a fun event. In particular, Rachel’s personal video presentation truly captured the spirit of the Adoption Center and our work on behalf of vulnerable children. Our Master of Ceremonies Stan Hochman and fellow auctioneer Steve Highsmith encouraged lively bidding for one-of-a-kind items, secured by Auction Chair Bob Bechtold.

Celebration Chairman Rich Macha & Board President Bruce Davis paid tribute to our generous sponsors including:

Wendy’s – Lead Sponsor
PECO
Independence Blue Cross
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Sunoco Logistics
Cozen O’Connor
Margaret Jacobs Charitable Trust
Wawa

Thanks again to everyone and we'll be posting pictures soon! 

Last week, the Philadelphia Inquirer ran a story on the incidence of truancy amongst its public school population. According to the story, nearly 15,000 children (10% of total enrollment) are truant from school on any given day. It went on to note that up to one-third of these children were currently living in foster care. This is just one more reason to invest more resources into adoption. What do you think? 

We have a few interns leaving us in the upcoming weeks. We’ve asked each to share their experiences, what they have learned and what will stay with them as they move forward.

Katie spent much time working with a Freddie Mac Foundation Wednesday’s Child Coordinator. She is an international studies at a local university.

Interning at the National Adoption Center/ Adoption Center of Delaware Valley has taught me things about domestic adoption and working for a non-profit. First and foremost, what a child needs comes before anything. In most cases what a child needs is a loving caring home. But, it goes beyond that. [While the Center is not ultimately responsible for matching, as we recruit we keep certain things in mind. ed.] The people here try to match the children to the right family. If there is a family that really wants to adopt a child and is qualified, but maybe works odd hours where the only time they’ll see the kid is on the weekends, it is not going to be a good match. These kids need somebody who is going to be around and interact with them on a constant basis.

Children also need fun. This is especially true when it comes to children in foster care; this is what NAC helps to promote in its recruiter sessions. During a Wednesday’s Child taping, I was able to see one kid go go-karting. The teenager enjoyed it so much, and it was a definite pleasure to see him be so elated about the experience.

Working at NAC has definitely been a fun and worthwhile experience. The people who work here are very patient and supportive, which is something you need to be in this line of work. They take the time and tell you step-by-step what needs to be done and how it needs to be done. It is a very efficient way of teaching people. 

As you've no doubt noticed, health care reform in the US passed a major hurdle last night. As part of the bill there are two items of importance to our community. The first is increased support for maternal health care. Healthier moms mean healthier babies! So this is good news for all concerned.

The second is this: "Expanding the Adoption Credit and Adoption Assistance Program. Increases the adoption tax credit and adoption assistance exclusion by $1,000, makes the credit refundable, and extends the credit through 2011. The enhancements are effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2009."

While adoption from the foster care costs little to nothing, this will hopefully encourage more people to seek out adoption in the first place. It will certainly help those who are adopting dometically from non-foster care sources too. Will this help sway your choice? 

We need your help, please! Adoption Center of Delaware Valley needs donation contributions for our upcoming Match Parties as gifts for attending children who are still searching for their forever family. We will have about 130 children from ages ranging from 8-18. We need items to include in a gift bag for each child. Items can include anything fromsummer items (beach towels, hats, sunblock lotion, etc.), school supplies (books, pens, folders, etc.), gift cards (food, clothes, accessories, VISA, etc.), tickets (amusement park, movie theater, sports game, etc). Monetary donations are also welcomed. 

In existence since 1972, the Adoption Center of Delaware Valley expands adoption opportunities for children living in foster care throughout the Delaware Valley (Southeastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey and Delaware), and is a resource to families and agencies who seek the permanency of caring homes for children. The Center has helped find families for more than 21,000 children. Our annual matching events bring waiting children and youth together with prospective adoptive families for a fun-filled day of guided interactions which serve as a catalyst in the cultivation of permanent life-long connections.

Please contact Sheina Martinez, Adoption Coordinator for any items you can provide at 215-735-9988 ext 311 or smartinez@adopt.org. Any donations are tax deductible! 

Do you know an outstanding young person who spent time in the foster care system and whose perseverance, resilience and contribution to the community made him or her an inspiration to others? 

If so, please nominate that person for a 2010 FosterClub Outstanding Young Leader Award. 

For the third year, the FosterClub, a national network for young people in foster care, will honor100 of them for their success in overcoming ”challenging circumstances and are now finding different ways to give back to their community and disprove negative stereotypes about young people in foster care.” 

Nominees must be aged 16-24 as of May 1, 2010 and must have spent some time in foster care. Young people can nominate themselves or be nominated by someone they know. 

Deadline is March 15, 2010.

Further information and nomination form here. 

The Arizona House of Representatives approved legislation on Feb. 23 that would give married couples preference in adoptions. The measure, which supporters argue is in the best interests of children, now goes to the state Senate for consideration. Opponents of the 35-22 vote on HB 2148 said research shows that the children of single parents do very well and that, if enacted into law, the bill could undermine the permanency prospects of some children in foster care – especially those with special needs. Critics also characterized the legislation as a covert means of discriminating against prospective gay and lesbian parents, since only heterosexuals can legally marry in Arizona. 

What do you think of this Legislation? Is it discriminative? 

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