While your Nov. 17 article about lengthy foster stays outlined several important issues with the child welfare system, it left out a significant piece of the puzzle: adoptive placements.

While the ultimate goal when a child is removed from their biological family is for that situation to become safe and for the family to be reunified, in some cases adoption becomes the child’s best option for permanency. And, as a licensed resource family who has been pursuing adoption for the last year, I can attest that adoption matching is also an area in dire need of attention from the state.

We have found the system confusing, ineffective and severely underresourced. Many of the connections we’ve made and resources we’ve found have been by happenstance. We’ve been told by several people that caseworkers just don’t have time to read a 10-page family profile to find a match for a child. Voicemails inquiring about specific children who we’ve learned about have gone unanswered. And we’ve filled out countless repetitive forms and given numerous interviews in hopes that it’ll happen to fall into the right hands.

We are in a vague state database, have given our information to A Family for ME, registered with Adoptuskids.org and are filling out yet another lengthy form for a new state-sponsored adoption matching program. All of which seem promising, none of which have been fruitful.

I would implore the new administration to tackle every facet of this unfortunate and ultimately harmful situation, including the need to better streamline the adoption process.

Children are waiting, and loving homes are ready for them – we just need help finding each other.

Gretchen Noonan

Cape Elizabeth

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