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More foster, adoption homes needed in area

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Feb. 17, 2011 - An informational meeting about fostering and adopting will be hosted by Child Protective Services on Thursday, March 3, from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at the Fannin County Children's Center at 112 West Fifth Street in Bonham.

Every year in Texas, tens of thousands of children who are abused or neglected by the people they trust come into the state's care and thousands of these children are never able to return to their birth families. More than 6,000 children are legally free for adoption and eagerly awaiting their "forever home."

It takes a special family to adopt a child in the care of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). Many of the children who come into the state's care have special needs because they are older, belong to a sibling group, are from ethnic minority groups, or have physical, mental, or emotional disabilities. People who are thinking about adopting children through DFPS should have an understanding of or be willing to learn the dynamics of these special needs and also how abuse and neglect may affect children.

The general requirements to be an adoptive parent are:

Be at least 21 years old;

Be financially self-sustaining;

Be married, single, divorced, or widowed;

Attend sessions with other prospective parents to learn about children's needs and backgrounds;

Consent to a criminal and abuse/neglect background check; and

Participate in a home study.

Depending on the circumstances, adoptive parents may be eligible for various benefits from programs to help defray some of the costs associated with adopting a special needs child. Children who receive adoption assistance may also be eligible for a program that exempts them from having to pay tuition and fees at state supported colleges, universities, junior colleges, and technical schools.

Training classes for new foster and adoptive parents will be held in April at the Children's Center in Bonham.

For more information call Emma at 903-408-0621 or visit www.adoptchildren.org.

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