BOSTON — Families who have struggled through the adoption process tell Boston 25 News they wish there were fewer hurdles.
Federal lawmakers are focused on improving the process for international adoptions because the numbers have dropped so significantly in the last decade.
But when it comes to domestic adoptions, the National Council for Adoption says the rules can be even more complicated.
“There are 50 states and 50 sets of regulations to navigate there,” says Ryan Hanlon, with the NCA.
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, based in Columbus, Ohio, is working on the issue. Thomas, the founder of Wendy's, created the foundation in 1992 because he felt not enough people were aware of adoption.
Thomas himself was adopted.
The foundation's president, Rita Soronen, told Boston 25 News they’re a $25,000,000 organization and 90 percent of those funds go toward adoption programs across the country.
"In Massachusetts, we're now funding a program called Wendy's Wonderful Kids," said Soronen.
"We've seen almost forty children adopted through this program in Boston and what's key to that number is these are children who are thirteen and older," she said.
Soronen believes there are still too many stigmas out there.
“Thirty years ago, when you thought of adoption, you thought of infant adoption that was something very secretive,” said Soronen.
She now travels across the country and works with lawmakers in Washington D.C. to help bring more awareness to the issue.
“We will go wherever someone is interested in the conversation and we spend a lot of time on the road making sure that wherever we can get the word out that children are waiting in this community for families,” said Soronen. “They wait eight years sometimes in this community for a family. That's eight years of lost childhood."
Join the discussion and tune in for a 30-minute, in-depth program on National Adoption Day, Friday Nov. 16 at 10:30 p.m. on Boston 25 News.
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