DHR set to adopt 11 children out

Published 1:55 am Friday, November 27, 2015

Covington County DHR is on track to complete 11 foster parent adoptions a number up from around six last year.

So far, they have completed nine adoptions and have two scheduled for December, Natalie Pinson of DHR said.

Gov. Robert Bentley has proclaimed the month National Adoption Month.

“We want to highlight foster parent adoptions,” said DHR director Lesa Syler. “Over the last couple of years foster parent recruitment has been up and those people adopt.”

Syler said there is more room for adoptive and foster parents in the county.

“For those who are interested we will start our GPS classes in January,” she said. “This way parents can learn about the system.”

Syler said she knows a lot of people in the community who have done international adoptions and private adoptions as well.

Statewide, 512 adoptions have taken place in 2015.

“There are post adoption supports available including financial assistance with court costs and legal fees as well as on-going monthly assistance when a family adopts a child that meets the special needs definition,” Pinson said. “The special needs definition is a child 5 or older; sib group of two or more being placed at same time with same family; child with special mental, medical or behavioral challenges. Many of our foster parents have been able to take advantage of this great support.”

To becoming an adoptive family in Alabama, one must:

• Be 19 or older;

• Criminal background checks are required for all household members 19 and older;

• Clearance of state central registry on child abuse and neglect for all household members 19 and older;

• You must have family stability;

• At least one parent must be United States citizen;

• Reasonable good health as verified through completed medical forms;

• Character references;

• Regular source of income that meets your family’s needs;

• Successful completion of a home safety inspection;

• Preparation training with home study and family assessment;

• First Aid and CPR for adults, infants, and children;

• If married, applicants must be married for at least three years.

For more information about becoming an adoptive or foster parent, contact DHR at 427-7900.