Foster and adoption systems prepare for influx of children

The foster and adoption system expects an influx of children due to the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 6:13 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The foster and adoption system is expected to see an influx of children due to the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. According to the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, in 2021, 3,654 children were served in some capacity by the state, and numbers are expected to grow.

“We are prepared to receive any new children that come into the state’s custody,” DCFS said in a statement.

The Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home and Family Services President Perry Handcock is working to make sure they are prepared.

“Even this week, we were redoubling our efforts in our local churches to find additional foster parents and adoptive parents,” Hancock said.

They are also considering additions to the facility for infants.

“One time here at the children’s home we actually had cottages for newborns,“ Hancock said. ”We haven’t had that for decades, but we’re reconsidering that now, with the possibility that many more infants will need care.”

Although the state says they are ready, one pastor, Jarrod Hawthorne of The Crossing Church says the influx could be bigger than they expect and might need help.

“The social workers, they need more than the ones that they have, are overwhelmed with cases and are working hard to do the best they can,“ Hawthorne said. ”And then we need more foster potential adoptive families for what we currently have. If there’s an influx because the law is changing, then I’m afraid we’re even further behind.”

He also advised families considering foster or adoption to make sure to do their research and talk to those they might know who have gone through the process to help make an informed decision.

“We have these three amazing children, our family that we get to love now and forever. And we can’t imagine our family without our three youngest,” Hawthorne said.

If there are families not prepared to take the step to start fostering or wanting to adopt, there are ways to help those who are. They will need support as they take the journey through the process.

“You can provide respite care for those couples so they can have time away when they need that you can help supply some of the needs that they have for the new baby,” Hancock says.

For information on how to help, you can visit the DCFS or Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home and Family Services site. Copyright 2022 KNOE. All rights reserved.