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State sees record number of adoptions

Nine foster children in Pike County found a permanent home this year.

According to Pike County DHR Director Florence Mitchell said they had five finalized adoptions in 2009 and four pending the final decree.

“Nine really achieved permanency,” said Pike County DHR Service Supervisor for Foster Care and Adoption Shelia McKeller.

Of the five that are completely finalized, all but one are foster parent adoptions.

This number is up from the seven children who were adopted in 2008 and all were foster parent adoptions.

Typically, foster parents are the ones to adopt the children, but sometimes DHR has to recruit adoptive parents.

“We like for the to be bale to stay with the foster parents, if they are able to commit,” McKeller said.

McKeller said this is a change from years ago, where is wasn’t the norm for foster parents to adopt children, but now if a foster home can be converted to a permanent home, it generally happens.

Statewide a record number of children were adopted in fiscal year 2009 through DHR.

Gov. Bob Riley said there were 676 children adopted through the state’s adoption system during budget year 2009.

This tops the previous year’s record of 412 adoptions.

Mitchell said they would begin a statewide effort in February to increase the number of foster and adoptive homes.

“There is a serious need for additional foster and adoptive homes in Alabama,” Mitchell said.