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News Brief

Nov. 29, 2023 |  By: Farah Siddiqi - Public News Service

As National Adoption Month ends, MO families head into new future


By Farah Siddiqi - Public News Service

Many parents complete their families through adoption, and November has been the month to encourage awareness, recognize those still waiting to be adopted and celebrate those who have grown through the process.

About 20 families finalized their adoptions at St. Louis County Family Court this year in Missouri, while more than 75,000 in 400 communities did so nationally.

Julia Hampton, a Missouri Walmart employee and adoptive parent, said it is important to look at the benefits offered by businesses when growing your family through adoption.

"Look into the programs available through the company you're employed with, because it may be they have a program set up to reimburse you for legal fees for the adoption," Hampton recommended. "Then you still get a bonding time, to just spend some one-on-one time with them."

Walmart ranks 46th on the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption's annual ranking of the Top 100 Adoption-Friendly Workplaces. It's also in second place for the "Best Impact Breakout," among companies with more than 1,000 employees providing the most financial reimbursement for adoption to the largest number of workers.

Alyssa Harp and husband Jason Harp finalized a rare adoption of older teens at a Michigan Adoption Day ceremony this year. Alyssa said growing her family with the two teen brothers has been rewarding and fulfilling.

"Their hearts are good. They want a family. They bring so much to our lives. They're such good siblings," Alyssa explained. "We're just really excited to be able to help them have a safe place to become amazing adults."

Rebekka Krul, adoption specialist for Legacy Adoption Services, said National Adoption Month is a time for awareness of the many children in foster care waiting for their forever families, which should not end when the month is over.

"You don't have to be rich or married, or you don't even have to have a house," Krul pointed out. "As long as you have a safe space and you have love in your heart for kids, we'll welcome you."

Nationally, more than 113,000 children are waiting to be adopted from foster care. They include more than 12,600 in Missouri.