The doors open at 1:30 for the free seminar, and it will run from 2:00 pm to approx. 5:30 pm. There will be foster parents, adoptive parents, and adopted kids sharing their testimonials at the seminar, as well as videos and a question and answer period.
Kevin Harper, director of the event, says that the seminar is intended to debunk some of the myths that plague the subject of adoption.
"There are many myths and misunderstandings out there that keep people from stepping forward to become foster parents or adopt children from the foster care system. I think people will be very surprised at how easy it can be to get involved."
He says that one of the most common myths is that you need to have a lot of money to adopt.
"You don't have to have tens of thousands of dollars and a well-stocked 401K to adopt from the foster care system. My wife and I have adopted three kids in two states, and it cost next to nothing."
He says that while there are definitely bureaucratic roadblocks for prospective adoptive families, the real tragedy is that people don't think it's worth it.
"Saying it's not worth the hassle is essentially saying that the kids are not worth our time. We need to increase our sense of mission about this, and be willing to not only jump roadblocks, but scale walls to get this done."
Jeff Katz, founder of the advocacy group Listening to Parents, agrees.
"While there is definitely work to be done to remove policy barriers, the reality is that it takes time to change policy across child welfare agencies. In the meantime, kids are still languishing in the system, thinking they are unwanted. They deserve families."
Katz, who has worked on national adoption policy for many years, believes that there are far more parents wanting to adopt than there are kids available. His organization works to eliminate barriers in order to make it easier for families to adopt children from foster care.
Harper says that there is a need to take in kids of all age groups, and that the greatest need is for adoptive parents to take in teens.
"There is no excuse for the fact that 25,000 teens each year age out of the system with no family, and often no future. People think that teens are not worth adopting because they are almost adults."
That's ridiculous, he says. "A family doesn't suddenly become optional at age 18."
* Less than 4% of adults who inquire about adoption actually follow through and complete the process.
* In 2008, over 463,000 children were in the foster care systems nationwide. Of those, over 123,000 were waiting for adoption, and only 55,000 were actually adopted.
* The ratio of willing prospective parents to children waiting for adoption varies from 6:1 to 12:1 depending on age and other preferences.
* About 25,000 teens age out of the system each year with no family and often no future.
* The average cost of adopting from the foster care system can range from free to $1500.
About Kevin Harper
Kevin Harper and his wife Diane are licensed foster parents and have adopted three children in two states from health and welfare agencies. To request an interview on the subject of foster care and adoption, or to schedule a presentation at your church or community organization, please contact Kevin at 208-249-8893.
About the Adoption Seminar
The Adoption Seminar is a volunteer-led community outreach to inform people about the need for foster and adoptive families, and inspire them to take action and help kids in the system who need permanent homes.
The seminar will discuss the Top Ten Misconceptions About Foster Care & Adoption, among other subjects.
When: August 21, 2010 from 2:00 to 5:30 - Free BBQ to follow
Where: Victory Christian Church (Meeting in Fairview Church of the Nazarene) at 46 N. Fairview, Nampa.
For more information, please contact:
110 S Valley Dr, Suite A167
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The Adoption Seminar is a free event to inspire and inform Christians about the need to adopt children from the foster care system.