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Local organization is helping families looking to take that next step toward adopting

Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 10:34 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) - With Thanksgiving around the corner, many will give thanks for friends, family and National Adoption Awareness Month. Whether that be adopting, or fostering, the organization Every Child Home’s goal is to find every child a home.

“We’re working with several families who are interested in adoption but for whatever reason have not been able to take that first step, so we’re helping them do that. We’re connecting them with agencies where the kids are receiving care right now and as they come to us, we assign them a member of our team,” Every Child Home CEO Clay Owens said.

Owens said this cause has always been close to his heart, having 6 daughters, one adopted and one fostered. Northwest Florida Health Network Retention and Stabilization Coordinator Cathy Harcus said right now about 20 to 25 kids are up for adoption, but more than 400 are in foster homes this holiday season.

“A lot of people say ‘oh I could never do that, I would become so attached and I couldn’t let them go back home.’ Then you are the perfect person we need to foster because every child needs someone to attach to,” said Harcus.

Harcus said if fostering or adopting is in your heart, to just say yes. Owens said a lot of the reason people believe they can’t adopt or foster, may not be barriers at all.

“Whether that’s finances or that’s your age, there are all types of kids from all types of backgrounds, all types of situations who are in need of a home,” said Owens.

Every Child Home started over the summer and while its new headquarters are in Panama City, it’s a nationwide project. Owens said he hopes to have a new website up soon with new pictures and videos of the kids in their heart gallery.

During the season of giving, some will tell you the best gift you can give is fostering or adopting. Owens adds this is an important time for people to take those next steps so that when Thanksgiving rolls around next year, they just may have a new addition at their dinner table.

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