Indiana Adoption Program is a statewide initiative to find
loving, committed, safe, permanent families
for children in foster care.
Indiana Adoption Program is a statewide initiative to find loving, committed, safe, permanent families for children in foster care. We are a partnership between Children’s Bureau, Inc. and Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS), working with Licensed Child Placing Agencies and DCS offices to help match adoptive families and waiting children.
Indiana's Waiting Children
The Latest from the Indiana Adoption Program Blog
As a fifth-grade teacher, Melissa Lafever always kept a close eye on a student named Gina, whose mother had passed away. Melissa knew Gina was being placed into foster care as a result — but what Melissa didn’t know was how much she would be impacted by the news. Melissa and her husband Shawn started the adoption process and welcomed Gina into their family in 2019. This year, the Lafever family also welcomed Gina’s brother Dean into the family too.
When we first talked with Joel and Deborah in 2015, they shared their “all-in” approach to parenting. Some of that is just their philosophy of life – if you’re going to do it, do it all the way, with all your heart. But, some of the “all-in”-ness was out of necessity: “We were all-in from the moment we met [our boys]. We were learning them and they were learning us. We had to learn real quick,” laughs Joel. It’s been 10 years since the boys’ adoptions were finalized, and the family doesn’t think much about labels like “adopted” or “biological.” They’re just family – one that’s doing a lot of living and laughing (and yes, still learning) along the way.
While we focus on celebrating adoption during National Adoption Month, it’s also important to hear what young people in foster care are saying about what they need in a family, what they want, what’s most important to them. Encouraging youth to have a voice in their permanency planning is empowering and keeps the focus where it should be: on what is in the child’s best interests.