For the second year, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia is hosting a press conference during National Adoption Month to promote awareness of the thousands of children in foster care in the state and nation who are eligible for adoption.
Supreme Court Administrative Director Steven D. Canterbury will open the press conference, which will take place at 10 a.m. on Thursday, November 19, 2009, in the Supreme Court Chamber. Speakers will include Chief Justice Brent D. Benjamin, Justice Robin Jean Davis, Justice Margaret L. Workman, and adoptive parents Nate and Sue Emch.
The Charleston couple has adopted two sets of sisters, ages 3 and 6, and 6 and 9. They also have a biological daughter and a foster daughter, for a total of six children.
Mr. Emch is modest about his status as an adoptive parent. I don t have a special title. We re not perfect, he said.
Their oldest adopted daughter, Savannah, will speak at the press conference, and all the children will attend.
More than 4,000 children are in foster care due to child abuse, neglect, or abandonment in West Virginia. Of those, 1,000 are eligible for adoption. Despite efforts by the court system and West Virginia Bureau for Children and Families to find safe, permanent homes for these children, they are waiting for the day that they have a home of their own. The average of age of waiting children is 8 years old.
The Court encourages West Virginians to consider adopting a waiting child.
Prospective adoptive parents do not have to be wealthy, married, home owners, or of a certain race or age.
More information about adopting a child in foster care is available at http://www.missionwv.org/frameworks/Families.html or http://www.wvdhhr.org/oss/adoption/.