A statewide adoption fair and match party for special needs children will be hosted at Indiana University Northwest with the help of faculty, staff and students from the university’s Division of Social Work on Saturday, March 20.
Organized by Indiana’s Adoption Initiative, the adoption fair will be from 9:30 a.m. to noon on campus in the Library Conference Center. Specialists from throughout the state will be available with photographs and biographies of Indiana children who need permanent homes. Information on how to become an adoptive parent will also be available.
“The fair is free and open to the public,” says Bridgett Morales, program coordinator. “We want to spread the word about the hundreds of children who need permanent, loving homes.”
Following the adoption fair, Indiana’s first ever Match Party is scheduled from 1 to 3:30 p.m. The party is by invitation only and is exclusively for prospective adoptive parents who have completed the necessary paperwork and home studies for adoption. With a carnival-like atmosphere, waiting children and sibling groups who are legally free for adoption will be led in activities by volunteers from the Division of Social Work and others from the region.
“We got involved because the need for adoptive homes for special needs kids is so great,” says Grafton Hull, Dean of Division of Social Work. “We have to use every creative method at our disposal to facilitate the child/adoption match process.”
According to Morales, special needs children may be school age, of minority backgrounds, members of a sibling group, or have physical and/or emotional challenges - often due to abuse and neglect
The adoption fair and match party is a collaborative program with the Indiana Special Needs Adoption Program and the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Adoption. The program is funded by contract through the Indiana Family and Social Service Administration, Division of Family and Children.
More information is available with Indiana’s Adoption Initiative at 1-888-25-ADOPT.