100 foster kids joining families in LA
MONTEREY PARK, Calif. -- More than 100 Southern California foster children celebrated National Adoption Day on Friday by becoming the newest members of several families.
The children and their adoptive parents were being formally joined as families at a mass ceremony at Los Angeles County Children's Court marking the day. A party by the county Department of Children and Family Services was planned later.
Department spokesman Neil Zanville said the annual event, launched in 1998, is a heartwarming experience for both the families and the county social workers who strived to bring them together. The department, the nation's largest public adoption agency, estimated that on any given day, it provides welfare services to more than 34,000 children.
Zanville said the department currently has about 450 other children in need of adoption.
"Since we started with National Adoption Day in 1998, we've had more than 28,900 adoptions," Zanville said. "Those kids who were previously foster youth now have loving, permanent families."
Children being adopted this year included one group of five siblings who were able to stay together in one adoptive family. Other multiple siblings being adopted into one family included one group of four, three groups of three and 16 pairs.
"It's important, whenever possible, to keep siblings together," said Zanville.
While there's no shortage of children needing both foster and adoptive homes, Zanville said the department is always seeking more parents.
Those eligible to become foster or adoptive parents include single, married or divorced people, as well as unmarried couples living together.
southern california, foster kids, national/world
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