This year Nebraska is on track to achieve its second-highest number of adoptions for a single year. The welcoming of vulnerable children into Nebraska families is something to celebrate.
Courtney Phillips, chief executive officer of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, notes that “adoptive and foster families are heroic for adding state wards to their families.”
Statewide, adoptions are likely to total about 545. That would be the highest number since 1995, with the exception of 2008.
For Douglas and Sarpy Counties, the projected total of adoptions this year is about 216, up from 171 last year.
Adoptions have been on the upswing for the past decade. The state HHS and Nebraska Families Collaborative, which handles Douglas and Sarpy cases, have commendably strengthened their adoption work, in coordination with other stakeholders such as judges and attorneys.
The adoption need in Nebraska is considerable. In Douglas and Sarpy Counties alone, 55 children currently are waiting to be matched with families. The average age of the unmatched children is 10, with the greatest need for teenagers and children of color.
What a tremendous gift it is when a family adopts a vulnerable child. These welcoming homes are an enormous blessing.