Adoption Celebration

More than 40 children were adopted today in a ceremony for a number of families. The adoption was a celebration of National Adoption Month and, as Houston Public Radio's Laurie Johnson reports, highlights the ongoing effort to connect adoptive children with healthy families.

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Deshon Edmond and her husband are now the legal parents of 20-month-old Hannah. Edmond says they started looking into adoption about a year ago, and when they heard about Hannah they knew adoption was right for them.

"I'm like at a loss for words right now really, because I can't believe it. I walked into the courtroom and I saw all these children out here and I've just never been a part of this. And you see it on the news and you see all these children who are being blessed with families and it's amazing that we, my husband and I, we are actually a part of something like this."

Child Protective Services estimates in the 12-county Houston region there are more than 1,000 children awaiting adoption. CPS Spokeswoman Gwen Carter says most of those kids have been waiting for families for a long time.

"Older children, children that are over the age of seven, children that are part of a sibling group, wait longer for adoption. Those are the children that we struggle to place. And those are the children that we ask people to consider."

Of the children waiting for adoption right now, 53 percent are African-American, 22 percent are Anglo and 21 percent are Hispanic. More than two thirds of them are siblings.

"It takes a special person to consider adoption and/or foster care because you have to give so much of yourself. But we ask people to think about what benefits come with it -- the benefit of having that child and of that child loving you, seeing that child grow and develop. Foster parents, in particular, talk a lot about healing. That they help children to heal, children that have been abused and neglected."

Carter says there are certain requirements for prospective foster or adoptive parents, including age, background checks, financial stability and training. Laurie Johnson, Houston Public Radio News.

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