Lee, Collier plan adoption ceremonies for youths
Twenty-one local children will finally have a permanent home this weekend as judges in Lee and Collier counties hold adoption ceremonies for the youths, who have been abused and neglected and are living in foster care.
“This is a way to bring awareness, and a fun way to highlight to the community that there’s more kids out there waiting to be adopted,” said Aimee McLaughlin of the Children’s Network of Southwest Florida.
Sixteen kids from Lee County will be adopted, and five from Collier.
McLaughlin said there are still 188 children in the five-county area who desperately need homes, 44 of which are not living in foster care.
Children who have no “identified home” tend to be older, have siblings or special needs, according to McLaughlin.
She added that the state does not break up siblings.
Saturday’s event hopes to counter that as part of National Adoption Month, the start of which falls on Saturday.
McLaughlin said that while it is good that 21 children now have homes, there is still plenty out there who need hope.
Still, Saturday is all about celebrating the children who are now out of the system and are on the way to building and celebrating their lives.
“So many times what goes on in the courtroom is depressing, but this is joyous. It’s time to celebrate,” she said.
McClaughlin and others from the Children’s Network of Southwest Florida will be on hand to answer questions and offer information to anyone interested in adoption.
The adoption ceremony is at 10 a.m. at the Lee County Courthouse, 1700 Monroe St., Courthouse 3A, Fort Myers.
For more information, call the Children’s Network of Southwest Florida at 226-1524.