Gov. Malloy and Department of Children and Families Celebrate Adoption Awareness Month
Annual Commemoration Highlights Connecticut’s Inclusiveness, Creating Greater Opportunities to Find Forever Families for Children in Foster Care
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Department of Children and Families (DCF) Commissioner Joette Katz today announced that November is Adoption Awareness Month in the State of Connecticut. During this year’s annual commemoration, state officials are highlighting their efforts to work with organizations throughout the state that are helping raise awareness of adoption opportunities for LGBTQ families.
“Adopting a child is one of the most significant demonstrations of love and affection that a family can make,” said Governor Malloy. “In particular, at a time when LGBTQ rights are being threatened on the federal level, we want individuals considering adoption in Connecticut to know that our state is proud to reaffirm our support for members of our LGBTQ community, and encourage them to consider growing their families through adoption.”
It is estimated that since 2007, at least 87 same-sex couples in Connecticut have adopted a child from foster care.
“Adoptions by LGBTQ families are not just about civil rights, it is about doing right by our children,” explained Commissioner Katz, a former justice of the Connecticut State Supreme Court who voted with the majority in a landmark 2008 decision that granted same-sex couples the constitutional right to marry. “There are still too many children in Connecticut without a permanent family, and we need to ensure that every Connecticut family looking to provide a loving home for a child knows that we will support their interest in adoption.”
DCF has supported same-sex couple adoptions for many years and has conducted targeted outreach over the last ten years, including advertising in media serving the LGBTQ community and distributing recruitment information at the pride festival in Hartford and at other community events.
As part of the month’s celebrations, it is anticipated that Connecticut’s juvenile courts will complete about 80 adoptions as part of Adoption Day on November 17, with some of those adoptions occurring in open court. On November 18, a choral studio in Hamden will hold an Adoption Awareness Month concert that will benefit children in foster care.
Facts on Adoption in Connecticut
- Last year, there were 436 children who were adopted from foster care, and another 323 children whose guardianship was transferred to a relative or someone they knew.
- Families who adopt children from the foster system receive a variety of supports from DCF, including a monthly stipend to pay for expenses related to the care of the child, health insurance for the child, services to meet the needs of the children in their care, and support through parent organizations. Additionally, Connecticut leads the nation in supporting access to higher education for youth in state care by providing financial assistance to attend college until age 23.
- There are 470 fewer children in foster care as of October 1, 2017, which is a reduction of nearly ten percent compared to January 2011 when the Malloy administration began. About half of them will go back to their families. In addition, many – about 40 percent – are currently living with relatives or kin.
- All kinds of families can adopt. There are no restrictions based on household characteristics related to marriage or sexual orientation. Renters are equally valued, and household income only needs to be adequate to support household members without counting the adoption subsidy.
- License requirements for adoption, which can take four to six months to complete, include:
- Pre-licensing training equal to 30 hours, which can take about 10 weeks;
- Home visits by our licensing staff and a home study, which comes at no cost; and
- Background checks for criminal or child abuse history that could prevent licensure.
Anyone interested in adoption should call 888-KID-HERO or visit CTFosterAdopt.com to be connected to a knowledgeable professional who will provide guidance.