Adoption can be a tricky affair for both the guardian and wards. It requires time to trust, to bond and for respect.
In his recent feat, he impressed upon the court to grant him custody of five siblings rather than give them out to different couples or individuals. But it wasn’t an easy engagement.
“I fought for close to two and a half years just to be able to get them together, and we won, we got it,” Thomas said, adding: “I wanted to be the difference, make a difference by being a difference for these youth.”
It’s unclear why the parents of the children all below five gave them up for adoption but it was all joy on Thursday when Judge Lisa Rodwin declared the adoption process complete for Mr. Thomas to have custody of the children.
About 135,000 children are adopted in the United States each year. Of non-stepparent adoptions, about 59 percent are from the child welfare (or foster) system, 26 percent are from other countries, and 15 percent are voluntarily relinquished American babies.
In 2014, 50,644 foster kids were adopted — a number that has stayed roughly consistent for the past five years. The average age of a waiting child is 7.7 years old and 29% of them will spend at least three years in foster care.
Meanwhile, there are about 108,000 children available for adoption in the U.S. as of July 2015, according to the National Council of Adoption. African-American children are over-represented — they make up about 24 percent of the children waiting for adoption. (The African-American population in the U.S. is 13 percent).