ACS Commissioner Mattingly and Chief Judge Kaye Launch Adoption Week in New York City
Grand Central Outreach Raises Awareness of the Need for Adoptive Families for Youth in Foster Care
New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) Commissioner John B. Mattingly and New York State Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye kicked off Adoption Week in New York City today at Grand Central Terminal’s Graybar Passage. The focus of the announcement was the Adoption Week Grand Central Outreach, a weeklong photo display and informational project to raise public awareness about the need for adoptive families for youth living in foster care in New York City. The display contains photos of children who are currently available for adoption and experts will be on-site throughout the week to provide information on the joys and challenges of adoption.
“There are hundreds of young people living in foster care today waiting for a permanent and loving family,” said Commissioner Mattingly. “In honor of Adoption Week in New York State, Children’s Services is reaching out to make all New Yorkers aware of how they can make a positive difference in the life of a child.”
Joining Commissioner Mattingly and Chief Judge Kaye were members of two adoptive families. Jill and Alan Mullings of Canarsie, Brooklyn have adopted five children, ages 4 through 15. The Mullings adopted Michael, age 13, in August 2004 after being his foster parents for six years. Barbara Neville of St Albans, Queens has adopted four children ages 9 through 13 and she is currently a foster parent for two children. In 1991 Ms. Neville became a foster parent for Steven, whom she adopted three years later.
"All children deserve a stable, loving home to call their own," said Chief Judge Kaye. "During Adoption Week, when hundreds of foster care adoptions are being finalized in courthouses across the state, programs like this help to educate the public and encourage families to consider adopting youngsters in foster care. I commend Children's Services for their fine work in this behalf."
Of the 20,200 children currently in foster care in New York City, approximately 800 young people are in need of a permanent adoptive home, many of whom are adolescents or special needs youth. Though the majority of children adopted out of the foster care system are adopted by their foster parents, many children are still waiting for a loving person to open his/her heart and home.
New Yorkers can visit the display and talk to an adoption expert throughout the week by visiting Graybar Passage Monday, November 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, November 16 through Friday, November 19, from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, November 20, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The Graybar Passage is closest to the terminal entrance on the west side of Lexington Avenue, north of 43rd Street.
Closing Adoption Week on November 20, Children’s Services will host its annual adoption celebration, NYC Adopt. NYC Adopt has evolved over the past 27 years into a large-scale celebration during which prospective parents and adoption professionals meet face-to-face to talk about adoption. This year, Children’s Services will celebrate NYC Adopt on National Adoption Day, joining partners throughout the country in raising awareness of the challenges and joys of adopting a child. The event will include a speaking program, musical performances, adoption orientation sessions, educational workshops and a variety of entertainment for the whole family.
NYC Adopt is a free, public event. New Yorkers are welcome to join Children’s Services from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at New York’s Pennsylvania Hotel, located at 401 Seventh Avenue at 33rd Street in the Penntop Ballroom on the 18th floor for NYC Adopt 2004.
To find out more information about NYC Adopt and about adopting or fostering a NYC child, please call 311 or log onto the ACS web site at www.nyc.gov/acs.