Pathways, MI's Adoption program focuses on children in foster care who have been released for adoption. This includes children in the Pathways, MI Foster Care program, as well as those in placement through other agencies across the State of Michigan. In every case, adoptive placements are to be made in the best interest of the child.
The adoption program philosophy commits to the principle that all children deserve and can be provided a permanent adoptive home.
Approximately 3,000 Michigan foster children are available for adoption at any given time. These are children who have been permanently removed from their homes as a result of abuse, neglect or abandonment wait in foster care to be adopted. We primarily provide adoption services in Ottawa, Allegan and Muskegon counties--there are several local children in need of of adoptive families. The focus of placing children for adoption is ALWAYS to find a home and family for a child, not to find a child for a family.
At Pathways, MI, we understand that the decision to terminate parental rights and move towards adoption is one with a lifelong impact for the children involved and is therefore not a decision to be taken lightly. However, once that decision is made, we believe that placement planning must begin immediately.
Our trained and compassionate staff members understand this and are committed to considering every factor and issue that may impact a child’s placement for adoption.
Adoptive placements are made with the following guiding principles:
Best interest of the child
Assessment of the child’s special needs
Adoptive family assessment/matching process
Children with special needs will be considered for adoptive placement regardless of race, religion, or any disability they may have. Adoptive parents will be assessed regarding their ability to manage the special needs of the child. Placements will not be based on the applicant’s socioeconomic status or financial means. Children in foster care are considered for adoptive placement in homes that can meet their physical, emotional, developmental, educational, psychological and social needs. No child will be denied an adoptive home due to any special needs they may have. Pathways, MI believes placement for adoption is possible for any child, regardless of age, religion, race, or any other special needs of that child.
Children primarily served by Pathways, MI are those who have special needs. These include:
Children from cross-cultural backgrounds
Children with mental, physical, or emotional impairments
Foster parents wishing to adopt a child in their care will be considered first, particularly if a significant relationship has developed for the child and the child has resided with the foster parents for one year or longer. If you are interested in being approved as a potential adoptive parent, you might want to explore becoming a Licensed Foster Parent. This can potentially put you in a position to be more qualified as an adoptive placement.
Click here to read some common misperceptions about the adoption process and about the children who are waiting.
Foster Care Licensors
Adoption funding is provided through a contract with the Michigan Department of Human Services. Pathways, MI participates actively in the Ottawa Area Adoption Consortium and the Muskegon County Foster and Adoptive Network. Members of these collaborations work together to promote adoption awareness and community education, as well as to provide support and training opportunities to adoptive and pre-adoptive families. Click here to read Pathways, MI's Adoption Policies.
Adoptive families represent a vital resource to Pathways, MI and are critical partners in providing permanency and security to children in need of adoptive homes.
Every adoption is as unique as the families and children involved. Common to every adoption, though, are steps that lead you from thinking about adoption to welcoming a new child or children into your life.
Adopting a child can be the most rewarding, joyful event of your life. It can also bring a unique set of challenges. Children who are adoption, regardless of their age at adoption or the type of adoption, may need help with behavioral, emotional or developmental issues. Everything a parent, organization or community can do to support adoptive families makes our society stronger. As an adoptive parent, you can take advantage of resources to address these challenges and to give your child the opportunity to thrive.
"Grant Me Hope" is a new initiative to find foster children an adoptive home, in collaboration between Take 5 & Company, Pathways, MI, the Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) and the business community.
While watching a continuing training video, foster mom Helen Zeerip heard a little boy retell a sad moment of his life — he was told older children don’t get adopted.
“‘No one should steal your hope,’” Zeerip remembered the boy saying.
It was a life-changing moment for her that could lead to life-changing moments for forgotten children, wards of the state. “Once you hit 11, it’s very hard to get adopted,” she said.
There is an average of 600,000 children in the U.S. available for adoption, according to information provided by Zeerip. Half of those children are considered unadoptable because of their age. (exerpt from Grant Me Hope works to find homes for unadoptable article written by the Holland Sentinel)
Watch Take Five which airs on WZZM 13 Grand Rapids each Tuesday at 9am, for the next year, to learn about a different child/children in need of a forever home.
HELP SPREAD THE WORD THAT NOVEMBER IS NATIONAL ADOPTION MONTH!
Sample Media Messages
Are you ready to raise awareness about children and youth awaiting adoption? In this section, find sample messages you can use to promote National Adoption Month through both social and traditional media outlets.