MONTGOMERY, AL. – At a celebration ceremony attended by parents and their adopted children, Governor Bob Riley announced that more children were adopted through the Department of Human Resources in fiscal year 2009 than ever before.
During the year, 676 waiting children were adopted through the state's adoption system, Governor Riley announced. That shatters the previous record of 412 adoptions set in fiscal year 2008.
The majority of the adoptions were foster parents adopting the children in their care.
"Alabama is making great progress in encouraging adoption. Our efforts are working to dramatically increase the adoption of foster children into loving, permanent families," said Governor Riley. "So many lives are being changed for the better."
Commissioner Nancy Buckner of the Department of Human Resources credited the huge jump in adoptions to a greater focus by the department.
"Our county DHR staff has really approached adoptions with a more concentrated effort than ever before. We are spreading the message there is an urgency for permanency," said Commissioner Buckner. "With their work, staff office staff, outstanding foster parents, and wonderful partners to assist us, more families are experiencing the great joy of adoption in Alabama."
Governor Riley said that the event pays tributes to adoptive families but also raises awareness.
"We're also here to draw attention to other children who are still waiting to find that permanent home. We want to encourage more Alabamians to adopt. Adopted children strengthen families and warm hearts," said Governor Riley.