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Louisiana adoption rates increase

Published: Nov. 12, 2019 at 8:45 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -Each year, November is recognized as National Adoption Awareness Month and this year, Louisiana has a lot to celebrate.

At the 21st Annual Adoption Celebration at the Governor’s Mansion on Nov. 7, 2019, the Department of Children and Family Services celebrated the 893 children who had been adopted by 661 families during 2019.

It was Louisiana’s second-highest number of adoptions on record, falling just short of the 912 adoptions recorded in 2018.

"It can be very beautiful because they make another family happy, at least in our adoptions."

Currently, there are roughly 4,000 children still living in the Louisiana foster care system, but new numbers are showing promise for the future.

“There’s a great need, there’s a lot of women out there women and men..”

Louisiana's Department of Children and Family Services says more families in our state are adopting the children that they foster.

From October 2018 to September 30th of 2019, 893 children were adopted in Louisiana. This is the state's second-highest number of adoptions on record, falling just short of the 912 adoptions recorded last year.

Debbie Campbell is an adoptive parent who owns Decolores Adoptions in Lake Charles

“I had suffered with infertility for many years and so I was having a difficult time back then to be able to adopt domestically because I was very young and most agencies would not accept me for my age,” said Campbell.

She said almost anyone you talk to has been touched by adoption in some way.

Of those 893 adopted children, 66 were in the lake area. The state says many of those were siblings who became apart of the same family.
They’ve even seen a significant increase in the number of teens leaving foster care as well, some of those cases right here in our area.

“We are getting more homes that are taking our older children into their homes and we are doing a better job at trying to keep all of our siblings together. Our foster parents have been excellent at opening their doors to sibling groups," said Lazetter Fontenot, Adoption specialist for Lake Charles DCFS.

DCFS says adoption rates for teens went up by 30 percent.

Sibling adoptions also increased with 27 percent of adopting families choosing to adopt more than one child and 25 percent choosing to adopt siblings.

Today, Louisiana DCFS was one of 12 recipients recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for its work to increase the number of foster children placed in permanent homes.

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