Many people are welcoming a new addition to their families today, just in time to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.
Michigan Adoption Day is always on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. This year's theme is "Giving Thanks to Families."
"It's not only a great opportunity to celebrate adoptions from foster care, but to also draw attention to the many children in foster care without a permanent home," said Kelly Howard, Director of Child Welfare Services for the Court Administrative Office.
More than 14,000 children are currently in the Michigan foster care system, with almost 3,000 waiting for permanent homes.
About 200 children will get permanent homes today for Michigan's 9th annual adoption day. Thirty counties across the state will open up their courts to finalize adoptions.
Governor Snyder will be at the Hall of Justice today to sign new legislation into law as part of the day's celebrations. The "Fostering Connections" legislation will extend foster care service from 18 to 21 years.
"If you don't have a permanent home by the age of 18, the risks of homelessness, criminality, and poverty skyrocket," said Howard. "It means they will have support where they wouldn't have had it before."
The legislation will provide case workers and funding for children who would normally be released from the system at the age of 18. The new law will go into effect at the beginning of next year.