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Over 700 kids were adopted in Louisiana this year - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Over 700 kids were adopted in Louisiana this year, a record for the state

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LOUISIANA (KTBS) -

The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services works to find every child up for adoption a forever family. They broke a record this year of the number of kids to be adopted.

"Children are in the adoption unit at this time, who are actively recruiting or seeking an adoptive family at this time" says Joel Hooper, DCFS Child Welfare Specialist.

Joel Hooper works in the Shreveport office for the Department of Children and Family Services. He and the team helped find more than 60 children a permanent home this year. Sate wide, more than 730 children were adopted in the 2012-2013 fiscal year which is the most ever. That's almost 80 more kids than the year before. But, why is that?

"There have been changes to the law over the past 10-15 years that are really geared towards making our agency and the courts focus on timeliness for kids and that has really changed the time frame.

Timeliness is important to the agency because they recognize the need for the children to bond with a parent.

"They're going to be going into their teenage years and you know you just need guidance and help to get through those times" says Kerri Byrd, DCFS Case Worker.

And even after the kids grow up and go out on their own, DCFS knows the need for that support does not go away.

"Having a family and having people to rely on and depend on doesn't just go to age 18. We rely on our parents and long after we enter adulthood" says Byrd.

More than 500 families took in the kids up for adoption this year, up by more than 30.

"That is a brave thing. That is a very brave thing on their part. It shows that they love these kids and are committed" says Hooper.

Committed so much that they take a chance on a stranger.

"They're willing to take that emotional risk and they're the ones who have really responded to the needs of these children in terms of permanency" says Hooper.

Not only permanent homes, but permanent families.

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