Newsroom > DHHS News Release

November 2, 2009

Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287


Adoptive Parents Change Lives

November is National Adoption Month

Note: Sound bites on this topic are available at:

Lincoln - You can make a difference in the lives of approximately 100 children in foster care who are free for adoption and actively looking for permanent families right now. Approximately 250 other children are also free for adoption but are already living with the family that wants to adopt them.

“Every child deserves the chance to thrive in a loving family, and I want to thank all the families who have adopted children from foster care,” said Todd Reckling, director of the Division of Children and Family Services in the Department of Health and Human Services. “We are looking for more families to offer safe, permanent homes and change the life of a child forever."

In 2008, there was an all-time high of 572 adoptions of children who were state wards. Even though this is a 92.6% increase from the 297 adoptions in 2003, Reckling said that adoptive parents are needed now more than ever.

Children may come into foster care through no fault of their own because of abuse, neglect or abandonment. The typical child who’s eligible for adoption is at least six years old, could be in a group of two or more siblings, and may have special mental or physical needs.

“The best place for children to grow up is with their birth families, but that is not always possible,” said Kerry Winterer, CEO of DHHS. “We believe every child is adoptable, and I’d like to encourage people to consider whether foster care or adoption would be good for them.”

Packets with information about becoming a foster or adoptive parent are available by calling 1-800-7-PARENT. Information and photographs of some of the children who are free for adoption can be viewed at