Maryland’s Local Departments of Social Services Celebrate National Adoption Day

Effort recognizes the more than 107,000 foster children awaiting adoption nationwide; 
celebrates the loving families who will provide them with a permanent home

Baltimore, Maryland (November 18, 2011) – Tomorrow, Maryland’s 24 local departments of social services will celebrate the joys of adoption and encourage more people to give children permanent loving families as part of National Adoption Month: a nationwide effort to call special attention to the more than 107,000 foster children in the United States who are waiting to be adopted.

“The most important factor in a child’s life is a stable, loving home in which a child can laugh, learn and thrive. Adoption opens doors to the hearts of children and adults alike and expands the opportunity for families to love and grow together,” said Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown, whose 11-year-old son, Jonathan, is adopted. “We’ve made great progress in providing loving homes for more children, but it’s not enough until every child in Maryland has a place where they can say, ‘This is my home.’”

“Place Matters” is Maryland’s innovative statewide program to reduce the number of out-of-home placements, increase the number of children living in family homes, reduce the number of children in group homes and increase the number of adoptions. Since 2007, the number of Maryland children in foster care has decreased by 25 percent. Even with this progress more than 1 in 4 of children in foster care nationwide are still waiting to be adopted, including nearly 700 in Maryland.

“Thanks to the heroic efforts of thousands of foster and adoptive parents, we have made great progress towards our goal of finding a loving, permanent home for every Maryland child,” said Ted Dallas, secretary of the Department of Human Resources. “In the last year alone, 544 more Maryland children have found safe, loving homes through adoption.”

On the Eastern Shore, the Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester County Departments of Social Services will host a festival celebrating foster and adoptive parents in the tri-county area. The day will include fun activities for children, a guest speaker for parents, lunch and a small ceremony to honor the families who best exemplified the promise of adoption.

In central Maryland, the Frederick County Department of Social Services will see four adoptions finalized during a ceremony presided by Judge Adams of the Circuit Court of Maryland. The judge also performed an unofficial “adoption ceremony” in which the newly-adopted children will name and adopt a teddy-bear to mark the occasion.

In addition, local departments of social services will recognize an “adoptive family of the year,” who will be honored for the way they have embraced their adoptive children, remained open to their children’s birth families and served as advocates for adoption within their communities.

“We encourage everyone to join the celebration and learn more about how adoption and foster care can provide children with the loving, permanent homes that they deserve,” said Carnitra White, executive director of the Social Services Administration, which oversees foster care and adoption services in Maryland.

National Adoption Day is sponsored by The Alliance for Children’s Rights, Children’s Action Network, Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and the Freddie Mac Foundation. For more information on these agencies, visit www.nationaladoptionday.org.

For more information about how to become a foster or adoptive parent in Maryland, visit the Maryland Department of Human Resources or call 1-800-332-6347.


The Maryland Department of Human Resources (DHR) is the state’s primary social service provider, serving over one million people annually. The Department, through its 24 local departments of social services, aggressively pursues opportunities to assist people in economic need, provide preventive services, and protect vulnerable children and adults in each of Maryland’s 24 counties. The Frederick, Wicomico, Somerset and Worcester County DSS are field offices of DHR.

Filed in: Adoption and Foster Care, DHS News

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