LAWTON, Okla._It's the best gift you can give this holiday season and throughout the year, a forever home to a child who needs it.
With more than 2,000 children statewide looking for adoptive families, there is an urgent need for people in southwest Oklahoma to adopt them.
That's why 7News is happy to announce a new partnership with the Department of Human Services to help some of these children find forever families.
On the first Tuesday of every month, we are going to introduce you to a child, or group of siblings, who are looking to be adopted. Our goal is to find them loving homes right here where they are from.
You are going to meet children of all ages. Many have been through life-changing experiences but what they have in common is a desire to find a nurturing family where they are safe and loved.
DHS spokeswoman Sheree Powell says the children are in the system because of abuse or neglect.
"These are innocent victims. These are children who lost their parents, they've lost their homes. And these are children who could not go back home for one reason or another. We could not reunite them with their families," explained Powell.
Powell says some them have waited years to be adopted, but older children, and those with disabilities, are often overlooked. Larger sibling groups are also a challenge because they need to stay together. Powell says this partnership is about finding homes for every child.
"We're asking people to think about having a child or having a child or siblings in their home, and be open-minded about the types of children they are going to take," said Powell.
If you are worried about money, don't be. Powell says if you adopt through DHS, the agency will pay your legal fees and they offer financial and medical assistance for the children.
"If you adopt a child over the age of 13, you can also be assured that the State of Oklahoma will pay for that child's tuition to any state university," added Powell.
Powell says there is a process when it comes to adoption because the agency wants to find the right families. You can learn more about the program by visiting their website here.