New Jersey Adoption Rates Stabilizing
Adoption officials in New Jersey say there is cause for optimism, based on statistics gathered by the non-profit agency Advocates for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ). Though the number of children reported as adopted in the state actually decreased from 2012 to 2013, Cecilia Zalkind, executive director of ACNJ, said there were indications that New Jersey has made significant progress in moving kids from foster care into permanent homes. Specifically, Zalkind said that the number of children in foster care who are not returned to their parents or legally adopted has declined markedly.
New Jersey officials readily admit that adoption from the foster care system is a precarious situation. As a general rule, children who go into foster care are considered to be there only until such time as they can be safely returned to their parents. As a consequence, parents who are looking to adopt rarely look to the foster care system, as they fear that they will incur time and money in the adoption process, only to have the child returned to his or her parent.
Zalkind said that New Jersey officials have worked hard to implement adoption options earlier in the lives of children in foster care. She acknowledged that the older the child in foster care, the more challenging it can be to find an adoptive parent, and the less likely that the child will ever leave the system.
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