CANYON, TX (KFDA) - The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is happy to announce the adoption of 10 local children.
In honor of this occasion, the organization held a mini luau celebration on Nov. 17 to highlight the meaning of family.
This was a special day as 10 children from the Randall and Potter counties were adopted to 8 new families.
"Today is National Adoption Day for our countries, we are celebrating Ohana, which means family and family means no one get left behind or forgotten, based off of the Lilo and Stitch movie," Micah Smith, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, said. "Have a luau theme and lots of grass skirts and Hawaiian leis, it's a lot of fun things for the kids on their big day."
During this event, three teenagers and seven young children and their news families finalized adoption decrees with court judges.
It was a relief for some of the families after the adoption process took close to six months to complete.
"I've always wanted to adopt and now that all my kids are grown and gone, I had the opportunity to be able to adopt my niece and nephew," adopting parent Estella Barker said. "I've had them now for a little bit over two years and it's been quiet the process, you have your ups and downs but it's well worth it in the long run."
Currently, the top 29 counties in the Texas Panhandle hold about 200 children in need of new homes within the Family and Protective Services.
In Potter and Randall county there are over 40 children that need homes.
According to Protective Services, each month nearly 15 children in our area come to protective services.
The organization adopts out 10 to 15 children each month but ask new parents to be patient as the adoption process could take time.
"The process is working with the families and making sure that they are licensed with the state that we have verified them in," Smith said. "We have to make sure that we have done all the background checks, and the parents have had all the trainings, and we need make sure their home is safe. Once we are able to do that, then we work with the families on the legal part to go to court and get that part done."
This month, 30 children have been adopted and about 200 have found new families this year.
But there are still about 400 children in the Panhandle area looking for their new home.
If you want to learn about the children in our area and how you can adopt, visit the Texas adoption resource exchange website.