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Johnson County court celebrates National Adoption Day

Families will be made on Saturday, Nov. 18, at the Johnson County Courthouse in celebration of National Adoption Day when 14 children, ranging from toddlers to early teens, are scheduled for adoption by seven families in the courtroom of District Court Judge Kathleen Sloan.

Approval of the adoptions begins at 9 a.m. with each case taking approximately 15 minutes to finalize as part of Johnson County’s annual observance of National Adoption Month. The new families are not alone. Thus far, the Tenth Judicial District Court of Kansas in Johnson County has approved 217 adoptions. In 2016, the court system authorized 241 adoptions.

According to KVC Kansas, a nonprofit child welfare and behavioral health care organization, more than 470 children are in need of an adoptive family. KVC is responsible for the care of all children served by the Kansas Department for Children and Families in the Kansas City area and provides case management, therapy, family education, transportation and aftercare services. Since 2005, KVC has matched more than 3,346 children with adoptive families. Last year, the agency matched 330 children with adoptive families.

November has been recognized as National Adoption Awareness Month or National Adoption Month to encourage the adoption of children currently in foster care. The first major effort to promote awareness of the need for adoptive families for children in the foster care system came in 1976, when Massachusetts Governor Mike Dukakis initiated Adoption Week, an idea that grew in popularity and spread throughout the nation.

President Gerald Ford later made the first National Adoption Week proclamation, and in 1990, the week was expanded to a month due to the number of states participating and the number of events celebrating and promoting adoption.

National Adoption Day was started in 2000 by a coalition of national partners, which included The Alliance for Children's Rights, Children's Action Network, Freddie Mac Foundation and Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.