More than 17,000 youth in care find loving, permanent homes over the last decade.

CHICAGO – November is Adoption Awareness Month, and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is celebrating the lifelong commitment of thousands of families across the state who have opened their hearts and homes to 17,159 children in need of loving families over the past decade.

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“It is our mission to ensure that every child in Illinois grows up in a safe and loving family,” said Illinois DCFS Director Marc D. Smith. “During Adoption Awareness Month we encourage Illinoisans to get involved and become licensed foster, adoptive or guardianship parents to children who need them and celebrate the thousands of families across the state that have been made whole though adoption.”

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Last fiscal year 1,939 Illinois children were adopted into permanent, loving families. Today there are 19,835 youth in care waiting for a family and place to call home. To learn more about some of them, visit the Heart Gallery of Illinois at For more information about becoming an adoptive parent, visit and click on “Loving Homes” then on “Become a Foster or Adoptive Parent.”

Adoption is a serious and permanent commitment to a child. DCFS offers a range of supports to adoptive families, including reimbursement for attorney fees and court costs, a monthly subsidy, a medical card, and other benefits which assist in defraying expenses associated with raising a child. Many considering adoption become licensed foster families first, giving them a better understanding of the needs of children from disrupted families before making a life-changing decision.

About the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS)

Founded in 1964, DCFS is responsible for protecting children from abuse or neglect by responding to calls received on the Child Abuse Hotline, 1-800-25-ABUSE (1-800-252-2873). With the goal of keeping children safe, DCFS strengthens and supports families with a wide range of services. When keeping a child safe means removing them from the home, DCFS makes every effort to reunite them with their family. When the best interest of the child makes this impossible, DCFS is committed to pursuing adoption by loving families to provide children with a safe and permanent home. DCFS is also responsible for licensing and monitoring of all Illinois child welfare agencies.

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