All over wisconsin -- adoptive and birth parents face barriers in the adoption process.
But some of those barriers could be coming down..
As a task force at the state capitol wraps up its work.
Rose schmidt followed one family... and shares their journey, struggles and the changes they're hoping to see.
State lawmakers on the speaker's task force on adoption have put in a lot of work... and will make their recommendation s in the coming weeks.
They're considering proposals that would provide grants to families to decrease the high costs of adoption... make the open adoption process more enforceable... and try to provide more adoption support.
So that families like the lubkes can provide love and permanency for children who need it most.
((pool nats))) showing off her spectacular moves... ((pool nats))) is 7-year-old ellie's happy place... ((oh the boys are playing nicely) surrounded by her four brothers in their backyard in milton.
7:33 i think it's been wonderful for our kids, it's brought incredible compassion 39 but neil and katie lubke's journey into this blended family has had a few waves of its own.
((( , "19 we saw the need.
We know that rock county and other counties are short on families to take care of kids 26 "))) they have four biological sons... and have fostered about 15 children in the last six years.
The first one was ellie... who came to them when she was only 9 months old.
((( , "53 after about a year and a half she was going to need a forever home 59 "))) that's their only foster placement that turned into adoption... but neil and katie say ellie's rough early start in life means she'll have lifelong trauma.
((( , "5:25 it's rewired her brain and so it's very difficult to help her attach and find empathy for other people 35 "))) they describe problems with the foster care-adoption system... like a lack of consistency between social workers.... and too large a focus on parents rights.
Rep dittirch 41 the pendulum has swung almost too far the other way towards adults over children, and 47 we need to bring it back closer to center 51 state representative barbara dittrich says the lubkes' concerns are ones she's heard from families and stakeholders all over wisconsin.... as she leads a bipartisan task force reviewing the adoption system.
723 children were adopted in wisconsin last year... 4:17 our goal is to perhaps double the number of adoptions over the next five years in this state 24 because there's such a need 26 the committe is finishing up its work... which will include legislation focused on these four areas... speeding up the adoption process, reducing costs... building awarenss about resources... and terminating parental rights in a more timely manner..
1:33 it's definitley something that people see as a difficult stumbling block in providing permanency for these kids 42 ((( , "3:01 we often celebrate adoption, and you should, it's wonderful, you're bringing families together but i think people forget that any adoption .... stems from an initial loss 16 "))) neil and katie say ellie's past and adoption will never be hidden from her.
6:46 it was always important for us that she know her story 50 and while the days in the pool this season are coming to an end... the importance of this issue isn't going anywhere.
Dittrich 5:13 the sacrifice i had to make this summer was so worthwhile if we can get this done for these kids 21 representative dittrich says one of the standout issues to her is the mounting drug addiction in this state..
And the effect it has on families.
Dittrich and the lawmakers on the committee are in the process of drafting bills right now... and they plan to introduce the proposals ahead of the fall legislative session.
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