A record number of Alabama families adopted children from the foster care system during the 2018 fiscal year. Last week, governor Kay Ivey announced that 710 children were adopted out of the foster care system. This broke the previous record of 676 back in 2009 and was up from 509 in fiscal year 2017 and 502 in fiscal year 2016.
The announcement came just weeks after Governor Ivey signed a near-total ban on abortion, which many are calling the most restrictive abortion law in the country. The new law makes performing an abortion a felony and is punishable by up to 99 years in prison. The most controversial aspect of the law is that it does not contain exceptions for rape and incest, causing even televangelist Pat Robertson to say the law was “extreme,” CBN News reports.
Ivey made the announcement at the State Capitol and then posed for photos with children and their adoptive families. She said the record number of adoptions “sends a strong, wonderful message to all the foster care children in our state.” Many pundits have also noted that critics are wrong when they say pro-life advocates stop caring about life once it is outside the womb.
Almost 6,400 children are currently in foster care in Alabama, but close to 70 percent of those will return to their biological families. Department of Human Resources Commissioner Nancy Buckner said that children who do not return to their biological families “need their own loving, caring, permanent family and that’s what it’s all about.” She went on to explain that most of the children in foster care who end up being adopted are those whose parents lost their parental rights.
Buckner also stressed the importance of juvenile courts, DHR, probate judges, and other community groups helping those who need adoptive families. She said, “We recognize that children need permanency. We all need family. We need family connection. And we’ve all gotten together. We’re doing some partnership things together. So, we’re all on the same page and we’re trying to push permanency through.
Governor Ivey has been a strong proponent of adoption since she took office in 2017. Last year she signed a proclamation declaring November “Adoption Month.” The proclamation encouraged “all Alabamians to support adoption and to attend of the many National Adoption Month events planned throughout the state.”
Currently, 250 children in the foster care system in Alabama still need to be adopted.
Scott Slayton writes at “One Degree to Another.”
Photo courtesy: Dakota Corbin/Unsplash