By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
Children in state custody are awaiting adoptive homes in northwest Oklahoma.
Maggie Retherford, adoption supervisor for Department of Human Services Region 1, said six children in the Enid area have been approved for adoption, but don’t yet have permanent homes to go to.
Two await adoption in Garfield County, three in Kingfisher County and one in Woodward County.
During the last year, 46 children were adopted through DHS in northwest Oklahoma. More than half those adoptions — 29 of them — were in Garfield County. Besides those, six were adopted in Blaine County, seven in Woodward County, three in Major County and one in Kingfisher County.
Additionally, 268 children are in 105 foster care homes in Alfalfa, Blaine, Garfield, Grant, Kingfisher, Major, Woods and Woodward counties, Retherford said.
Retherford said the explanation for children awaiting adoption is simple.
“We really don’t have the applicants,” Retherford said.
Anyone interested in adopting a child out of DHS custody would be welcome to start the process by requesting information from DHS. To do that online, go to http://www .okdhs.org/programsandservices/adopt/docs/adoptsurvey.htm.
To get started by phone, call the Bridge Family Resource Center for New Foster Care and Adoption Families at (800) 376-9729.
“You would have to submit your application and have a home assessment and home study done,” Retherford said. “There is also 27 hours of resource family training.”
Resource family training helps would-be adoptive or foster parents understand how to parent children in DHS custody, who have lost their first families, Retherford said.
Northwest Oklahoma also needs additional foster homes.
Currently, 39 new foster-care homes are being sought. Needed are 22 in Garfield County, 10 in Woodward County, two in Blaine County, and one each in Alfalfa, Grant, Kingfisher, Major and Woods counties.