State officials urge Nebraskans to consider adoption amid low numbers

By: - November 14, 2022 4:00 am

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LINCOLN — Adoption rates in Nebraska are the lowest since 2003, and state officials  are urging Nebraskans to consider adopting a child 

November is adoption awareness month, and the Federal Children’s Bureau set this year’s theme as Small Steps Open Doors. 

The theme highlights the challenges that may arise when building trust with youth seeking permanency. However, small steps, like listening and talking to the youth, can create a safe environment which leads to them being more engaged with their permanency planning, said officials with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. 

Adoption numbers 

As of Oct. 31, 296 adoptions have been finalized in 2022. Last year 403 adoptions were completed. 

However, 494 children in Nebraska seek a forever family, with 383 already placed in an adoptive home setting this year. 

“Every time I talk to a foster or adoptive family, I hear how this has made a powerful impact in their lives,” said Stephanie Beasley, director of the Children and Family Services Division. “This is an experience that doesn’t end at adoption, it is a transformation families will experience for the rest of their lives. I urge any Nebraskan considering adoption to reach out to DHHS for information and support.”

The adoption process involves several steps, such as answering preliminary questions, attending training classes and completing a home study. 

DHHS also encourages families to consider foster and guardianship. Those interested in foster care, guardianship or adoption can inquire for more details at 1-800-7PARENT.

DHHS and its partners will hold events around the state this month and next to educate prospective families on adoption, provide additional resources and celebrate adoption month. 

Adoption Month events and activities

  • Douglas-Sarpy Counties: Nov. 19, 9-11:30 a.m., Judge Candice J. Novak will preside over multiple adoptions at the Omaha-Douglas Civic Center.
  • Northeast Nebraska: Nov. 19, 3-6 p.m., 13th Annual National Adoption Day at the YMCA in Norfolk, with a meal served at 5 p.m
  • Lancaster County:  Nov. 12, 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Lancaster County Courthouse. Adopted children will receive backpacks with gifts, adoptive families will receive gift bags, and there will be food and games for all in attendance.
  • Western Nebraska: A community event will be held in December to celebrate adoptions from 2020, 2021 and 2022.
  • Central Nebraska: Organizers will deliver backpacks for all 2022 adoptees and their families. The bags will include information for Families Forever, books on adoptions for teens (if adopting a teen), swag from agencies, board games, and other items.


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Jazari Kual
Jazari Kual

Jazari Kual is a senior majoring in journalism and broadcasting media production at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Before interning at the Nebraska Examiner, he interned at Flatwater Free Press. He also owns and operates a video company. Jazari is bilingual, with fluency in English and Arabic.