National Adoption Day Dispels a Common Adoption Myth

 

National Adoption Day pic

National Adoption Day
Image: nationaladoptionday.org

Elected to the Florida 17th Judicial Circuit in 2002, Judge John Bowman has dramatically overhauled the court’s handling of adoption cases, making the process more efficient and timely so that children can be placed in homes more quickly and easily. Outside of the courtroom, Judge John Bowman advocates for adoption through his support of National Adoption Day.

A prevailing myth about adoption is that there are not enough families to care for the number of children in foster care throughout the United States. According to recent data reported by National Adoption Day, approximately 20 percent of Americans have thought about adopting a child.

Moreover, some 47 million families nationwide have given serious thought to foster care as the avenue of their adoption search, which dwarfs all other adoption avenues, such as infant adoption and international adoption.

Research also shows that individuals interested in adoption do not always know where to start. For this reason, efforts must be made to invest in awareness initiatives and other resources that help families navigate the adoption process, which will result in more children being placed in loving, stable, permanent homes.

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A Look at National Adoption Day

National Adoption Day pic

National Adoption Day
Image: nationaladoptionday.org

The former owner of a civil litigation firm, John Bowman currently serves as a circuit court judge in the state of Florida. Outside of his professional work as a judge, John Bowman has been recognized as an advocate for adoption efforts and a supporter of National Adoption Day.

National Adoption Day strives to bring awareness to foster children throughout the United States who are looking for a permanent home. Currently, organizations that help organize the day include the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, the Children’s Action Network, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, and the Alliance for Children’s Rights.

Held annually on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, National Adoption Day helps to bring policymakers, families, advocates, and other stakeholders together. Moreover, the event connects interested individuals to other adoption events across the country, provides access to adoption resources, and helps supporters find volunteer opportunities. During the most recent adoption day, more than 5,000 foster children were adopted and over 400 cities took part.

For additional information on National Adoption Day, visit www.nationaladoptionday.org.

The First-Ever National Teachers Law School

National Teachers Law School pic

National Teachers Law School
Image: abota.org

In addition to his duties as a circuit judge for Florida’s 17th Judicial Circuit Court, Judge John Bowman shares his legal expertise with related professional organizations. Judge John Bowman has spoken to the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), whose mission is to uphold the constitutional right to a trial by a civil jury.

In September 2016, ABOTA’s educational component, the ABOTA Foundation, sponsored the first-ever National Teachers Law School, an event intended to promote in-depth civics education. Held in Philadelphia at the National Constitution Center, the two-day event gathered judges, lawyers, historians, and educators to discuss a variety of issues.

Topics included dealing with civic engagement after a tragedy, the jury trial as the final guardian of rights, and helping students make sense of the Constitution. Additionally, participants learned about legal issues that affect school-age children, such as social media in relation to the First Amendment.

Public officials stressed the necessity of knowing how the American governmental system worked. They noted that many students received little or no instruction in civics. One judge argued the nation has forgotten the importance of students’ learning their role as citizens possessing rights.

Adopting Children in Foster Care – Debunking the Myths

National Adoption Day pic

National Adoption Day
Image: nationaladoptionday.org

Judge John Bowman has more than a decade of experience in the Juvenile Dependency Division of the Florida Circuit Court. Outside of the courtroom, he advocates for youth in foster care through National Adoption Day.

National Adoption Day serves to increase awareness of the more than 100,000 children waiting for permanent homes. Among the barriers to adoption are numerous myths, such as the myth that financial and other forms of support to the child end immediately after an adoption. The truth is that most children placed in permanent homes qualify for federal and state assistance and receive benefits such as monthly financial support, medical care, and social services.

Another myth that hinders adoption is that individuals who are gay or lesbian cannot adopt children. In most states they do have the right to adopt, and some states allow them to adopt jointly.

Finally, some people believe that children in foster care come with a lot of emotional “baggage.” Most children in foster care are just like other children and simply need a loving, permanent family so that they can thrive and fulfill their potential.

Debunking the Myths about Adoption Costs

National Adoption Day pic

National Adoption Day
Image: nationaladoptionday.org

 

A graduate of St. Thomas University with a juris doctor, Judge John Bowman serves as a circuit judge in the state of Florida. Also an advocate for adoption, Judge John Bowman participates in National Adoption Day.

Since the inception of National Adoption Day in 2000, the event has helped more than 58,000 children find permanent families. However, there are still more than 100,000 children in foster care who are waiting for permanent homes. One of the barriers to placing these children in permanent homes is the myth that adopting a child from foster care is expensive.

Contrary to what many families believe, adopting a child from foster care is not costly. In fact, it has the potential to be free, since many adoption agencies do not charge families who choose to adopt a child in foster care. Further, many companies and government agencies now offer adoption assistance programs as part of employee benefits. Some companies even offer financial benefits as well as maternity or paternity leave for those who choose to adopt a child.

Lastly, adoptive parents now benefit from a tax credit for adoption-related expenses, including court fees as well as travel and legal expenses. In 2014, this tax credit allowed families to obtain up to $13,190 to offset expenses associated with adoption.