Opioid crisis brings about increased need
November is National Adoption Awareness Month, and county courts and agencies are looking to increase the number of families willing to foster and adopt children who are in the system.
Officials are seeing drastically increased needs, due to a higher number of drug abuse and overdoses.
Summit County Probate Court and Summit County Children Services hosted an adoption day on Nov. 13 and have also created a video to encourage more families to come forward and choose adoption.
A new video, “A Journey to a Forever Family,” encourages families to consider adoption by first becoming foster parents. The video may be found above or on the Probate Court website, Summit County Children Services Facebook page, or at
“As Probate Court judge, I find that helping a child and parent become a family is one of the most rewarding duties of the court,” said Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer. “Today more than ever there is a tremendous need for loving parents to create these forever homes.”
The video shows parents Shawn and Jennifer Ervin, Bobby and Treniece Campbell, and Joshua and Kristen Smith, talking about why they decided to foster and adopt and what impact that has had on all of their lives.
“Over the last two years, we have seen a drastic increase in the number of children entering our custody, largely due to the opioid crisis,” said Julie Barnes, executive director of Summit County Children Services. “Summit County Children Services needs people who are willing to open their homes and family to children in our custody.”
Summit County Children Services currently averages over 650 children in its custody every month. In November’s special adoption day at Summit County Probate Court, nine children were adopted by six different families. Out of those six families, three families adopted two biological sibling groups, keeping the siblings together.
For more info. on how to become a foster or adoptive parent, call (330) 379-1990 or go to www.summitkids.org.
Only Probate Court can finalize adoptions. Once a home-study and all other legal requirements have been met, it is the responsibility of Probate Court to determine that the prospective parent is suitable to care for and raise a child. In addition to adoptions with Children Services, Probate Court handles other types of adoptions such as step-parent adoptions, agency adoptions, private adoptions, interstate, and foreign adoptions. For info about adoption, visit www.summitohioprobate.com.