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Family celebrates adoption of young child, shining light on need for foster parents in the Brazos Valley

The Department of Family Protective Services says it has seen an increase in need over the last few years.
Published: Apr. 21, 2021 at 4:15 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 22, 2021 at 10:06 AM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - When a child needs a safe home, the Department of Family and Protective Services says it is critical to have foster parents available.

It’s something that Christi Yackel, faith-based and community development specialist for DFPS Region 7, says is of the utmost importance.

“We are always in need of foster homes because we have a variety of children coming in to care that have different needs that we need to meet,” said Yackel.

Especially in the last year, Yackel noted difficulty with having to move many of the meetings online and having to rely on other ways to get children in safe homes.

“In the Brazos Valley, DFPS sees an average of more than 20 children in any given month who are in foster care waiting to find a permanent adoptive home. This only accounts for children who are legally free for adoption, not those who are in foster care temporarily,” said DFPS Media Specialist Mark Wilson.

Bryan couple Samantha and Ryan Clements say they recognized this need too after watching a Wednesday’s Child segment on KBTX just over a year ago. So, they reached out to Renaissance Family Services in Bryan.

“We talked to different families we knew who went through foster care and adoption and we decided this was something we really wanted to do,” said Samantha.

At ten months old, Aiden was placed in the Clements home as a foster child. The family has worked for more than a year to officially adopt him. Tuesday, the family was able to finally call him their own when they adopted the now two-year-old.

“Any dad wants a little boy, but we always follow His plan and I really feel like He led us to this path,” said Ryan.

Now that the new family of five can finally call Aiden their own, they say they can’t wait for him to grow and be a part of the family forever.

“It’s official. He is a part of our family and it’s awesome,” said Ryan.

The Clements say they hope their story will inspire more of the community to step up and help bring foster kids into safe and loving homes.

Below is a table of the number of children in the Brazos Valley in need of permanent adoptive homes.

Month20202021
January2120
February2221
March2621
April27
May23
June25
July25
August25
September25
October21
November18
December19

According to DFPS, their number of children removed from homes has increased in the last four years as well. Below is a table showing that increase.

YearChildren
2017141
2018237
2019195
2020239

Although the number of children removed has increased, DFPS says they have also seen the number of adoptions increase locally as well. In 2017, DFPS says there were 46 children adopted into families in the Brazos Valley, and in 2020 that increased to 71.

For more information on becoming an adoptive or foster parent, click here.

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