Newsroom > DHHS News Release

For Immediate Release
November 13, 2017

CONTACT
Russ Reno, Communications and Legislative Services, (office) 402-471-8287 or (cell) 402-450-7318 or russ.reno@nebraska.gov

Adoptions of State Wards
Continue in High Numbers
 
Lincoln – The number of children adopted from foster care in 2017 is expected to exceed last year’s number and continue more than 10 years of accelerated adoptions as the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) continues to emphasize permanent placement for foster children in the state’s care, according to DHHS CEO Courtney Phillips.
 
As of Nov. 1, 2017, 395 adoptions have been completed, and approximately another 150 children are scheduled to be adopted Nov. 18, which is National Adoption Day. Adoptions in 2016 totaled 504.
 
Since 2006 the number of adoptions dropped only once below 400, in 2010. The highest number occurred in 2008 when 572 adoptions were finalized. From 1995-2005, the average number of adoptions was 257 a year. Since then (2006-2016), the average is 483 adoptions a year. All told, 8,150 state wards have been adopted from 1995-2016.
 
Once a child is safe, Phillips said DHHS’ next priority is to establish a permanent home for children in the state’s care. Initially, the Children and Family Services Division (CFS) seeks to safely reunify children with their parents. When that’s not possible, CFS strives to place children with a relative or persons close to the child or what’s referred to as “kin.” Relative and kinship adoptions aim to reduce the potential trauma children may experience when they reach permanency outside the home. Foster parents and other families also are options for permanent placement.
 
The adoption of children requires the collaboration of many, from judges and attorneys to guardians ad litem, service providers, DHHS workers and biological parents. Increased cooperation has contributed to the higher numbers of adoptions seen in recent years.
 
Phillips praised the work of DHHS’ Service Area permanency teams, which evaluate how well a child will fit with families.
 
“We have a lot of great team members whose priority is to help these children live better lives,” Phillips said. “Adoptive and foster families are heroic for adding state wards to their families.”
Adoptions in Nebraska
1995-2017 *
 
1995 – 229​ 2007 – 462 ​
1996 – 220​ ​2008 – 572
1997 – 187 ​ ​2009 – 494
1998 – 148 ​ ​2010 – 398
1999 – 250 ​ ​2011 – 479
​2000 – 272 ​2012 – 446
​2001 – 289 ​2013 – 525
​2002 – 262 ​2014 – 458
​2003 – 297 ​2015 – 528
2004 – 313 ​ ​2016 – 504
2005 – 361 ​ ​2017 – 395 *
2006 – 456 ​
 
* On Nov. 1, 2017. About 150 state wards are expected to be adopted in November, and even more by the end of this year.  
 
-30-