Tampa, FL – “Adopting one child won’t change the world, but for that child, the world will change.” National Adoption day is a collective effort to raise awareness of the children waiting to be adopted from foster care. It is a one day event when advocates, policymakers and practitioners in 400 US cities plan to celebrate new families. In Tampa, the 13th Judicial Circuit will celebrate Friday, November 15th at 9am at the George Edgecomb County Courthouse with more than 50 adoptions being finalized and festivities held for the families.
Hillsborough County has more children in the dependency system than any other part of Florida. These children were abused, abandoned, or neglected, and if it is not possible to resolve the issues that brought their case into the system, then state and county agencies work together to make it possible for the children to be legally adopted into new, forever families. “Children in general seek to be loved, encouraged, and cared for,” says 13th Circuit Guardian ad Litem Director Tabitha Lambert. “Children in foster care truly need this environment to recover from the circumstances they have experienced and have support to grow up strong and healthy.”
Mayor Jane Castor and Chief Judge Ronald Ficarrotta will open the ceremony. Judges in the 13th Circuit dependency system will preside over the adoptions and many agencies, businesses, and individuals are working together to make this day possible. In the past, one adoptive parent stated, “Adoption is a bumpy road, but oh so worth it.” Another said, “I have four children. Two are adopted, but I forget which two.”
The Guardian ad Litem program works closely with Eckerd, Camelot and the Sylvia Thomas Center on cases involved in these adoptions. Volunteer child advocates in the Guardian ad Litem program get to know these children, find out their need for services, and mentor them as well as providing a voice for them in court. Research shows that children in care with an advocate often do better in school, receive more services, and find a forever family more quickly than a child who does not have one.
Some families may be available to speak with the press. For more information about the 13th Circuit 2019 Adoption Day, contact Lauren Breto with Eckerd Adoption at 813-401-9372. For more information about the Guardian ad Litem program in Hillsborough, call 813-272-5110 or visit www.galtampa.org.