Webster City will participate in a statewide candlelight ceremony on Wednesday to honor and raise awareness for Iowa children waiting to be adopted from foster care. Iowa KidsNet, the statewide collaboration of agencies that recruits, trains, licenses and supports all of Iowa's foster and foster adoptive parents, is planning the ceremonies at about a dozen locations around the state throughout November.
The Webster City candlelight ceremony will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Hamilton County Courthouse parking lot. The public is encouraged to attend. Hot chocolate and cookies will be provided following the ceremony.
Foster and adoptive parents, child welfare advocates and community members will take time to reflect on the ongoing needs of children in Iowa's foster care system and the importance of permanent connections for children in care.
"Iowa has an ongoing need for foster and adoptive parents, particularly for those willing to care for teens, children with special needs or behaviors and sibling groups," said Kara Magnison, post-adoption support supervisor with Iowa KidsNet. "In particular, each year about 26,000 teens age out of foster care without being adopted and without the support and resources they need to make a successful transition to young adulthood."
National Adoption Month is a time to raise awareness about children waiting to be adopted from foster care and the need for every child to have a permanent connection to a caring, supportive adult. Nationally, there are 104,000 children in the U.S. waiting to be adopted from foster care.
As of August 2012, about 765 Iowa children were legally eligible for adoption from foster care, meaning their parental rights have been terminated. Many of these children will be adopted by relatives or their current foster family, while others are still waiting for a forever family.