GALVESTON county began participating in the National Adoption Day program in 2004. We formed the foundation a couple of years later to obtain 501(c)(3) status so donors could receive tax benefits from their contributions.
The purpose of GCADF is to promote the adoption of children in the foster care system. This is our 15th year and to date we have facilitated over 300 children’s adoptions. Participants receive free, or reduced fee, legal services. The clerks waive certain fees. The foundation can also provide assistance with the costs of certain adoption related costs.
Last year, recognizing the need in the community, we expanded to facilitate relative adoptions. The relatives can work with Lone Star Legal Aid, or an attorney of their choosing, once the termination case is complete they can then participate in our event. They are eligible for all of the same benefits from the foundation as our CPS families.
A lot of these kids have had tough starts so we try to make this a joyous day for them to remember. It is a carnival type atmosphere. The commissioners court kindly allows us to take over the entire first floor of the justice center. We have activities, face painting, a moonwalk, demonstrations, Santa and Mrs. Claus and a clown. Each child is asked for a wish list and we provide them with a ‘basket’ of items.
Many local groups volunteer with us every year: Junior League, Boy Scouts, CASA. This year the Island Quilters Guild generously made a quilt for each child.