CINCINNATI — Starting in 2017, the number of children being adopted through Hamilton County Job and Family Services has been on the rise, leading to a record high in 2019.
Between 2010 and 2016, about a hundred children were adopted each year. Then, in 2017 that number jumped to 141 adoptions, and in 2019, 259 children were adopted.
"I’m really proud of the work that the staff have done," said HCJFS director Moira Weir. "We’ve worked extra hard to make sure that every child that we have can have a permanent home and they can go someplace that can be their forever and the family loves them."
But as the number of adoptions reach new highs, the number of children available for adoption is also on the rise. Currently, there are around 500 children who are available for adoption through HCJFS.
"Sadly, the numbers have increased in terms of kids and youth needing a home outside of their birth family," Weir said. "As the numbers increase, we knew we had to be more aggressive."
However, even with the increase in adoptable children, foster parents have played a large role in the adoption process, and many foster parents turn into adoptive parents.
"They might say, ‘I don’t have any intention of adopting, I’ve got my family,’ or whatever, and they end up getting a child and falling in love with them," Weir said. "So we see many of our foster parents end up adopting... They fall in love with the child, things work out."
And on the day when a child is adopted, Weir said there's not a dry-eye in the room.
"To see and feel the love in the room and to be excited about it, it’s overwhelming," Weir said. "To see families embrace children and love them as their own... is very exciting."
If you or someone you know is interested in fostering or adopting a child, you can visit hckids.org, or call 513-632-6366.