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Adoption rates more than double in Montgomery County

Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 10:34 PM EST
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) -The adoption rate in Montgomery County has more than doubled this year compared to the last two years. Meanwhile, other counties in the New River Valley are seeing steady numbers.

By the end of 2020, Montgomery County expects to have 19 kids adopted. That’s more than double what they’ve seen in the last two years.

At the Burch house, there’s lots of chaos and love.

Rebecca and Chad took in Alayna in January and Weston just this month.

“It was kind of hard making that decision, but now I can’t even imagine if we hadn’t said yes,” said Rebecca Poe. “Our life would be completely different.”

Weston came with a lot of health issues, but a challenge they lovingly accepted. The Department of Social Services says 95% of kids go into foster care in Montgomery County because of substance abuse issues.

“They’ve experienced a lot at a very young age,” said Director Kelly Edmonson. “Most of the kids that are being adopted are eight and younger.”

Rebecca and Chad knew they always wanted to foster; they just never thought their first two placements would go straight into adoption.

“People will constantly say they’re so lucky and it almost surprised me,” said Chad Burch. “I really wanted to say they’re not lucky, we’re just giving them what every child should have.”

During a pandemic, social services says life has settled down and people really know what they want.

“We really just want to see kids have a loving home,” Edmonson said. “Life has settled down a little bit and they’re really contributing to what is going on in their lives and knowing they can provide for a need of a child instead of all of the craziness of life that happens and I think it’s caused people to settle down a little bit.”

“It’s almost a privilege that we’re able to adopt because we get this chance to be part of their lives,” Poe said.

Rebecca and Chad said they knew quickly that Weston would become a permanent fixture of the family, they were just waiting for a judge to make it official.

Edmonson said Montgomery County is in the top three of the western region for getting children adopted, whether it is to foster or permanent families. She said the foster family number has remained the same as usual. In 2019 the county had nine adoptions, in 2018 Edmonson said it had eight.

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