STEUBENVILLE - The Jefferson County Department of Job and Family Services Children Services Division will host an adoption information evening from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday in Room 2504 of Eastern Gateway Community College.
The speaker for the event, being held in conjunction with National Adoption Month, will be Michele A. Santin. Santin is a state-certified trainer on adoption issues, and has worked in the field for more than 20 years. She is a former children services supervisor and is now the director of social services for Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Steubenville.
The agency is hoping to inform the public of the procedures for adopting through a public county agency. It also wants to increase awareness of the need for adoptive parents who are willing to adopt special needs children or foster-to-adopt children who cannot be reunified with their families.
Potential adoptive parents may not be aware that the cost for adopting through a public agency is minimal, officials explained. Various programs and subsidies exist for families who adopt through county agencies. Some of those are available to parents who adopt privately if they meet certain criteria and eligibility standards. Additional information will be provided and discussed during the evening, along with a question-and-answer session.
In Jefferson County, children services finalized five adoptions in 2011, three in 2012 and four, with four pending, in 2013. According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Fact Sheet, on any given day in Ohio, more than 3,200 children are waiting for adoptive families.
For information, contact Tracey Dailey, adoption assessor at (740) 282-0961, ext. 1244, or Joan Dohnal, foster care coordinator at ext. 1225. The event is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be provided.