TOPEKA – Kimberly Allen-Thompson spent most of her life in foster care, aging out of the system. But, that wasn’t the end of Kimberly’s story because at age 18, she was adopted by her forever family, the Thompson’s.
The Thompson’s had adopted Kimberly’s younger siblings, and while she was already legally an adult, she chose to become adopted and have a family to turn to, no matter what.
Kimberly and the Thompson’s were present at the 42nd Annual Governor’s Conference in Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, Adoption Month Reception on Nov. 8, to share their story about adoption and kick-off National Adoption Month with Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) and Kansas Children Service League (KCSL) staff.
Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D., signed a proclamation on Monday, Oct. 22, designating November as Adoption Month. Throughout the month, DCF, and its contractors and community partners are taking part in a series of events to call attention to the need for more adoptive and foster families. Currently, there are approximately 500 children available for adoption in Kansas. Of those 500 youth available, 125 are 15 years or older. In FY 2018, 766 children were adopted from foster care.
Helping youth achieve timely permanency has been a focus for DCF Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel. Recently, DCF met internally and with contractors to identify and remove policies that were serving as a barrier to timely permanency. DCF also reviewed all cases where a youth was awaiting adoption and created working plans to safely finalize as many adoptions as possible in 30, 60 and 90 days. As a result of the many initiatives to streamline the adoption process, DCF anticipates finalizing approximately 1,500 adoptions in FY 19, double the number of adoptions from the previous fiscal year.
“When I arrived at the agency, remedying the adoption process was one of my top initiatives because timely permanency is vitally important for the child and the family. In my 25 plus years in child welfare, I have seen thousands of adoptions finalized, and each story and each family is unique,” said Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel. “But at the end of the day, each adoption finalized means a youth found their forever family.”
DCF’s contracted service providers and several courts around the state will celebrate National Adoption Day on Nov. 17, when many adoptions across the state will be finalized. As the final step of the adoption process, these events are often emotional culminations of months of effort. Media are invited to the following adoption finalizations:
- Saturday, Nov. 17: Shawnee County Courthouse, Topeka, 8:30 a.m. – Approximately 35 children’s adoptions will be finalized, KVC Kansas
- Saturday, Nov. 17: Johnson County Courthouse, Olathe, 9 a.m. – Approximately 19 children’s adoptions will be finalized, KVC Kansas
DCF also encouraged faith organizations to educate their members about adoption on Adoption Sunday, Nov.12.
To learn more about children who are currently available for adoption, visit www.adoptkskids.org or call 877-457-5430. On the website, you can view photos and read profiles of each child available for adoption.
Left (left to right): Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel listens as Kimberly Allen-Thompson shares her adoption story and talks about her journey through the foster care system.