||December 7, 2013|
Home > Health & Human Services > Human Services > Wednesday's Child
Be sure to watch "Wednesday's Child" on Wednesday evenings during the 5:00p.m. news, Thursdays during the 11:00 a.m. midday news and Sunday mornings during the 9:00 a.m. news on NBC4. Click here for more videos of recent Wednesday's Child episodes.
NBC4' s Barbara Harrison hosts the "Wednesday's Child" TV program.
What is "Wednesday's Child"?
Children featured on "Wednesday's Child" have special medical, physical, or emotional needs that require services such as physical therapy and counseling. Many of the children are over age five or are members of a sibling group. All of these characteristics make it difficult to locate families willing to adopt these children.
If you would like additional information about adoption in the
Washington metropolitan region, fill out our online form,
or call, toll-free: 1-88-TO ADOPT ME
The Wednesday's Child program has also expanded to other cities in the U.S. For more information on the national program, you can visit www.adopt.org. The National Adoption Center created and administers the Wednesday's Child Web site, which is funded by the Freddie Mac Foundation. The Web site features the children who are profiled on the television segments. Through the site, families across the United States "meet" the children who are featured in the television segments in the five cities. The Wednesday's Child section of the site also includes useful information for families thinking about adoption. A Frequently Asked Questions section provides answers for prospective parents who can also request an information packet to be sent by e-mail. If a family is interested in a particular child, they can submit an information form which is forwarded to the appropriate adoption agency. Currently, five cities are on the Web site. If you wish to learn more about the National Adoption Center, please visit the Web site www.adopt.org.
Children are also in need of families to care for them on a temporary basis in foster
care. For further information about becoming a foster parent in the
Washington metropolitan region, contact a local foster care agency.
Foster Care and Adoption Facts
Children are placed in foster care due to abuse, neglect, or other circumstances that render their present living situation unsafe and detrimental to their welfare. Family foster care is a temporary situation where children live with a family while problems in their biological family are resolved. Adoption is permanent and gives the adoptive parents the legal rights to a child.
Foster families and adoptive families are diverse in their desire and ability to care for children. Some foster families wish to provide foster care only. Other families are only interested in adopting a child and do not wish to have a child placed with them until the child's biological parent's rights have been terminated.
For a child to be available for adoption, legal rights must be terminated either voluntarily by the biological parent or by a court order. Children in foster care are in need of adoption when their parents or relatives are unavailable or incapable of caring for the child(ren). After all attempts to reunite a child with their biological family have failed, the custodial agency (typically the Department of Social Services) will petition the court for Termination of Parental Rights.
Some families serve as foster families, then choose to adopt a child who may be in their care if that child becomes available for adoption becomes available for adoption. Other families, although they seek adoption, agree to care for children as a foster parent with the possibility that the child's biological parent's rights will eventually be terminated.
Adoptive parents can be married or single, own or rent a home or apartment, and may or may not have children. A prospective parent(s) first attends an orientation meeting. The meetings may take several forms including group meetings held at the social services agency (generally scheduled once per month), or individualized meetings where a family can meet with a social worker either at their home or at the agency to receive additional information. For further information about and inquire about attending an orientation in the Washington metropolitan region, contact a local foster care agency.
After an initial orientation, the prospective adoptive family must attend an adoption training course and complete a "home study." These steps are completed over the course of several months. The training courses last six to eight weeks in most jurisdictions. The home study involves a series (generally three or more) of meetings with the family and the social worker at the family's home or at the agency. The parent(s) must complete many forms and information questionnaires regarding their background, childhood, current family situation, and motivation for deciding to adopt a child.
Several pieces of documentation are required for the home study. Requirements vary throughout the jurisdictions. Generally, a police record check, a child protective services record check, and physical examinations are required. The processing of these documents may take up to three months.
Although this process often appears intrusive, its purpose is to evaluate a family on their ability to care for the child who may or may not have many needs. The process is also designed to provide a self-assessment for the prospective adoptive family, and to help them prepare themselves for, and adjust to, adopting a child. The process also helps the family to judge their ability to provide for a particular child and to consider the often serious needs of the child and the extent of the commitment they are making.
Upon completion of the home study and adoption course, the prospective family will begin pre-placement visits with the child. These visits allow the family and child (especially older children) to get to know each other while still being able to return to the comfort of their current living situation. The number and length of pre-placement visits differ according to the child's and the family's needs. Generally, short part-day visits are extended to overnight weekend visits over the course of several weeks or months.
When a family makes the decision to legally adopt a child, the child is placed in the home with the family. The placement must be supervised for a minimum of six months by the social services agency before becoming finalized. This provides support and services to the child and family in adjusting to the adoption. Following the six-month supervision period, the adoption is finalized by the court and the child is then legally a member of the adoptive family.
Click on the link below to access a list of organizations that provide foster care, adoption services and other volunteer opportunities. The list is not inclusive of all organizations in the Washington metropolitan area. Consult your Yellow Pages under Social Service Organizations for further listings. The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments does not endorse any particular organization listed here. The organizations are listed for information purposes only.
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