Office of Communications
For more information contact:

Joe Thornton
Office of Communications & Legislative Affairs
West Virginia Department of health and Human Resources
Phone: 304-558-7899 Fax: 304-558-7075
Cell: 304-546-7960 e-mail:

For immediate release

Adoption Awareness Month signifies need for adoptive parents

National Adoption Awareness Month is November. It is designed to stress the significance and importance for loving and caring adults to consider adopting.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources averages approximately 3,200 children in foster care at any given time. Of that number, 361 were successfully placed with adoptive parents in 2002.

Not all children placed in foster care are candidates for adoption. Some children are temporarily placed for reasons out of their legal guardians’ control. Once the circumstances for placement in temporary care are satisfied, they can be returned to their original families.

"These are real children who desperately need families of their own," said Fred Boothe, commissioner, Bureau for Children and Families. "Because the public is so often unaware of these children and their special needs, we would like to draw attention to the children waiting for loving, caring homes. We would like nothing more than to unite each and every child in our system with the permanency we all need in our lives."

Children awaiting adoption come from a variety of backgrounds. Some have physical or mental disabilities; some are part of a sibling group; all are of various ethnicities, and many are older children.

Individuals considering adoption should know that the process has changed significantly over the years. There is no need to be married, childless, under 40, wealthy or a home owner. However, providing a stable, loving atmosphere is a must in order to help the child work through issues raised by their unstable past.

For more information about adoption contact your local DHHR office.