Need for adoptive homes in Alabama

Hundreds of children Alabama are in need of a "forever home."The Children's Aid Society in Birmingham says many children waiting to be adopted came into the foster care system due to abuse or neglect.{}{}{} Leslie Hales felt a tug at her heart."To be an adoptive parent, adoptive mom, it means giving forever to a child who otherwise didn't have that ability."Hales adopted Mary when she was 12. She's also the mom of a 23-year-old who aged out of the foster care system."It really boils down to the fact they need stability and it doesn't matter how old you are."Hales works to support adoptive families at Children's Aid Society, which helps the state locate potential families.The agency says as many as 265 children in Alabama are in foster care waiting to be adopted. The children are eight and older."Everybody needs a mom or dad to call and celebrate their successes, to consult with them on any concern they have." Pre-adoption Specialist, Teresa Cook, says there's a great need in finding families to adopt. "I think its possible some people are not aware of the need."The economy and age group could also be factors. Hales says there's an urgency to adopt older children. But, she encourages families to learn more about the process. There are many support programs. Alabama also makes it affordable to adopt.Hales says "The process adopting in the state can be as small as zero because the only fees the parents are expected to pay are legal fees and court costs."She says adoption is always a journey, a choice she would never change. "It's well worth it, I would never look back and think about changing one step about

The adoption process can last up to 18 months. Children's Aid Society' has a state funded program to prepare families who wish to adopt.{}

If you would like to find out more information, you can call Children's Aid Society at 866-425-5437.