ANN ARBOR, MI – On Thanksgiving Day, the kids may have gotten a pass to head out with a support individual – someone deemed to have a positive impact.
But it’s likely Keven, 17, Dayjah, 16, Antonio, 14, and Stephen, 8, had dinner with other children in the group residential facilities where they live.
They’re the children in Washtenaw County open for adoption, but without identified families, state health and human service officials say. And though the four have all been in the system for years, they hope that, given the season and National Adoption Awareness Month, families might come forward to give the children something to be thankful for.
It’s the time of year when people are already reflecting on the importance of family, said Diana Moore, executive director for Lutheran Adoption Service, the non-profit agency that handles their cases.
“It’s hard for the social workers to know that they’re not experiencing what most people are experiencing around the holidays,” Moore said. “It’s something that’s become their norm – not that that’s okay – which is all the more reason … we really need people interested in adoptions.”
Many children in the foster system have families identified or goals of reunification with their birth parents, but 300 children in Michigan are like Keven, Dayjah, Antonio and Stephen – up for adoption but without families identified, said Katie Page Sander, executive director of the non-profit child welfare agency Hands Across The Water.
“These are kids, if they are old enough, who have expressed wanting, desiring a family and so far no one has stepped forward,” she said.
There’s a need for families who are interested in adopting older children, as well as those with…
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