Iowa family celebrates 10th adoption - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa family celebrates 10th adoption

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For the Hancock family, it's all about love and giving kids a chance to thrive in that loving environment. Baby Mila is adopted child number 10 for Amanda and Levi Hancock. This time,the Hancock's say Mila is their final adoption.

"Mila has, I feel like, completed our family, and she's just been awesome. We didn't expect her to be. And so, I've just tried to soak up every minute of it with her," says Amanda.

Levi adds,"It does feel different every time. Every child that we adopt has a different set of circumstances, a different set of strengths; a different set of weaknesses. I don't know that we have done anything overly special, other than allow them to become the people that they want to become and, if you allow children to do that, then they will. They'll accomplish what people tell them that they can accomplish."

Mila's Guardian Ad Litem is Gilbertville native and Des Moines Attorney, Michelle Saveraid, who says, "Sometimes, there is quite a battle in court, and lots of litigation. Sometimes not.  But, the rewards that come from being able to provide a forever home to these children far outweigh, in my opinion, any of the struggles that we may do behind the scenes."

"There's going to be uncomfortable situations, but all of that can be overcome with love. All of it can. Consistency and love is really what it takes. It's going to be hard work, but, love is what makes all of it possible." says Levi.

Many Iowa families work with IowaKidsNet, www.iowakidsnet.com.  IowaKidsNet is a statewide collaboration of agencies which utilizes a unique,cohesive approach to provide recruitment, training, licensing and continued support to individuals who wish to become foster and adoptive parents.

IowaKidsNet is a partnership of Iowa social service agencies, including Four Oaks, Children's Square USA, Family Resources, LSI, Quakerdale and affiliate Youth and Shelter Services. For more information, call 1-800-243-0756. November is National Adoption month.  

"Every child deserves to have a permanent connection to a caring and supportive adult," says Kelli Malone, Iowa KidsNet Project Director.

Malone says, "Each year about 26,000 youth turn 18 and age out of foster care without having permanent family connections. This November we urge more Iowans to consider becoming foster or adoptive parents, especially for older youth, or find ways to raise awareness in their own communities about the needs of Iowa children in foster care."

According to the Iowa Department of Human Services, as of August 2012, there were about 765 children in Iowa who were legally eligible for adoption, meaning parental rights had been terminated.

Many of these children already have an adoptive home identified with a relative or a foster family, while others are still waiting for an adoptive home.

On March 31,2012, there were approximately 6,100 Iowa children in foster care, which includes placements in non-relative foster homes, relative foster care, group homes, institutional care, supervised independent living or on trial home visits.

More foster and adoptive parents who can care for teenagers, sibling groups and children with special needs are urgently needed, said Malone. There is also a large need for more African American and Latino foster and adoptive families.

In all Iowa counties, including Black Hawk CountyIowaKidsNet offers free post-adoption support services for families who have adopted a child through the Iowa Department of Human Services.

Of the 104,000 children in the U.S. waiting to be adopted from foster care, some will wait five years or more to be adopted; That is like a lifetime to a child.

To learn more about foster care,Iowa's Waitingng Children' and adoption, contact IowaKidsNet at 1-800-243-0756, or online at: www.iowakidsnet.com.

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