Adoption open house on Tuesday educates people on process

Kali Katerberg/Daily Mining Gazette The Houghton County Family Courtroom will hold an informational adoption open house on Tuesday

HOUGHTON — Adopting is for more than rich married couples. Many members of the community are able to welcome a foster child into their homes.

“We’re looking for people with good character who can offer love and stability. I think those are the most precious commodities you could offer a child,” said Houghton County Family Court Adoption Specialist Susan O’Connell.

Part of national adoption month, the adoption open house will take place Tuesday at the Houghton County Family Courtroom from 1-3 p.m. Attendees will learn more about the adoption process from court officials, Department of Health and Human Services and adoption agency personnel who will be available to answer questions.

“This is just something we try and put on every year to celebrate adoption,” O’Connell said.

There are more than 300 children in Michigan available for adoption and 95 percent of them qualify for state assistance for the families. Programs like the Michigan’s Adoption Medical Subsidy Program even reimburse families for services caring for physical, mental and emotional issues identified prior to adoption.

“I think by educating people about the process we can encourage more adoptions and provide more children safe and loving homes,” O’Connell said.

Adoptive parents do not need to be wealthy or even married, as Michigan allows single-parent adoptions.

Post-adoption services such as case management, in-home intervention, community services, advocacy, family support, education and training are available to those adopting in the state.

Often people who would be willing to adopt don’t realize they are in a position to do so, O’Connell explained.

This open house is intended to correct misconceptions, she said.