Foster care and adoption interest rises following Alabama abortion ban

Focus on adoption after abortion ban
Published: Jul. 3, 2022 at 9:27 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 3, 2022 at 11:16 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - It’s been more than a week since the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the implementation of Alabama’s abortion ban.

They both sparked an outpouring on social media for the need of help within Alabama’s adoption and foster care sectors.

While there has been an increase in interest for fostering and adopting in the state, a local advocate is hoping people are actually in it for the long run.

“When you see the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and really here in Alabama, our abortion restrictions went into law,” said Herbie Newell. “You see a lot of folks going, ‘What can I do? Can I adopt? Can I foster?’”

Newell is the Lifeline Children’s Services president and executive director.

Around 5800 children are in the foster care system, according to the Alabama Department of Human Resources.

“No matter what the numbers look like, we always need foster parents and we always need loving parents to take care of our children,” said Amanda Mancuso, the family services deputy director for DHR.

She adds that around 1200 families help foster in Alabama, with many of the families taking in multiple foster children.

The newest abortion ban could be peaking more intrigue for foster care.

“We have seen a lot of interest from families, both on adoption and in foster care,” said Newell. “I actually had the opportunity to speak on behalf of Alabama’s abortion law and I was asked, ‘Would Alabama be ready to provide for these kids if the law was passed?’ I said Alabama’s ready.”

Newell says he believes families will rise to the occasion and care for the children placed in foster care.

He says the hardest thing for any child in the foster care system is the number of placements. That’s why he hopes the peaked interest is actually for the long run, and will see action.

“I hope that our help doesn’t just go at this one cultural moment but that our help will extend and that we’ll dig in,” he adds. “This is going to be a long term thing that we’ve got to work through and we’ve really got to be ready and able.”

Newell says this is a time for the people of Alabama to step up.

On Lifeline Children’s Services website, they posted this statement about the Roe v. Wade decision:

Forty years of ministry to women in unplanned pregnancies have prepared us for this time. In December 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments from a court case originating in Mississippi, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court justices released their ruling, finding favor with Mississippi’s right to significantly limit abortions after 15 weeks of gestation. In addition, it nullified Roe v. Wade, a Supreme Court decision that has directed abortion policy in the U.S. for almost 50 years. In doing so, the Dobbs ruling will impact pro-life laws across the nation in significant ways. As a new day dawns across the United States, many women are waking up with paralyzing fear. Buried under burdens of difficult circumstances, more women than ever are facing an unknown future. We want them to know they are loved and valued. We want them to know life-affirming options. Join us as we open arms and doors to care for women across this country.

Lifeline Children’s Services

If you’re interested in learning more about adoption or foster care, the organization has more information on their website.

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