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The Children’s Home Society of Virginia | Exploring Adoption in the 2000s

Over the last twelve months, we have been writing about our rich history. Since our founding in 1900, we have overcome a lot of hurdles to best serve the vulnerable youth in Virginia.

For 120 years, we have learned to adapt to best serve our children and communities. We have adapted through financial burdens, World War II, the Baby Boom, as well as social change during the 70s and 80s.

As the decades have come and gone, we have adapted to serve the needs of our community better and better, year after year. These needs have included offering better training for our staff to best serve our children, forming community partnerships to reach more children, focusing on older youth adoptions as well as infant adoptions, breaking through social barriers and embracing diversity, moving to an open adoption plan, and offering pregnancy counseling to expecting mothers.

Adoption in the 2000s was no different. CHS continued to make big changes to better help children of all ages. During the 2000s, CHS became one of the first Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program sites in the country. 

Keep reading to learn more about this program and everything else we accomplished during the 2000s.

Adoption in the 2000s | Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK)

In 2004, CHS became one of the first Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK) program sites in the country.

Wendy's Wonderful Kids Logo | Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

WWK is the signature program of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

The Foundation funds adoption professionals, known as recruiters, who use a child-focused model to find permanent homes for children in foster care.

If you can recall from previous blogs, CHS was always determined to find the best fit for every adoptive child.

This child-focused recruitment model has proven to be three times more effective at serving children who have been in foster care the longest, including teenagers, children with special needs, and siblings.

Becoming part of this Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption signature program reflected CHS’s effectiveness at creating safe, loving families for children waiting in foster care. CHS is one of three WWK program sites in Virginia. 

CHS has even been nationally recognized for the significant number of foster care adoption matches we facilitate. This includes the adoption of Lila who was adopted two days before her eighteenth birthday.

Adoption in the 2000s | New mother with her adopted daughter, smiling
Lila and her mother. Lila was adopted two days before her eighteenth birthday.


Each year, many children in foster care turn 18 and leave the child welfare system without permanent families. The WWK’s recruiters work with smaller caseloads of children, ensuring they can focus dedicated time to matching children waiting in foster care the longest with families planning to adopt. 

CHS’ WWK recruiter, Krista Watson, has been working to match youth still waiting in Virginia’s foster care system with families for almost a decade. Krista recently celebrated ten years of work with CHS as a WWK recruiter. Because of Krista’s decade of steadfast work, 89 youth have found permanence in loving homes through adoption. 

Wendy's Wonderful Kids | Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption | Krista Watson from Children's Home Society of Virginia
Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruiter Krista Watson (left) and Foster Care & Adoption Program Manager Laura Pitts (right) at the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Summit in May 2019.

Adoption in the 2000s | Open Adoptions

Open Adoptions | family of five sitting in a pew smiling, playing with teddy bears

In 2005, new research and data reflected the effects of trauma and separation on youth. We started focusing on open adoptions in the 1990s, which continued into the 2000s and still continues to this day.

Open adoption is when biological parents, siblings, and extended family members have a relationship with their biological child. 

Since we started open adoptions, we have seen how very healthy it is for the adopted child. 

  • Research shows that children do better in open adoptions because it gives the child a chance to learn how they came to be adopted. Open adoptions also allow children to ask questions about their family background.
  • It is healthy for children to continue to have a relationship with biological parents for identity purposes, security, connection, and completeness. 
  • Open adoptions allow for the adopted child to have a sense of belonging, which may lessen the feelings of abandonment. 
  • The child is also able to connect to his or her cultural and ethnic background and ancestry.
  • The adopted child has better access to important family medical history.
  • The adopted child will have a wider circle of family and support. Attachment is very crucial for an adopted child.

Support Virginia Adoption & Child Welfare | 120th Anniversary

That covers it for adoption in the 2000s! Stay tuned for next month when we wrap up our 120th-anniversary blog series. We will dive into the 2010s, which proved to be some of our most innovative years.

Virginia is still ranked last for the rate at which children age out of foster care, meaning the likelihood that children won’t be adopted before turning 18 is very high. Currently, there are 1,000 children up for adoption in Virginia.

If you want to give a child in need a forever home, you’re in the right place. Get in touch with us today: 804-353-0191

If you want to give financially to our cause, we would be forever grateful. Every dollar makes a difference in the life of a child, and no amount is too small.

Many of you on our mailing list have received our annual Red Stocking Year-End Giving Campaign 2021 Calendar. It’s twelve months of success stories of our families and youth, our programs, our accomplishments this year, and the tremendous need we, and the at-risk youth we serve, have for financial support this time of year. If you would like a calendar, you can request one here. We will send it to you for free! 

Please order one, and consider making a generous donation so we can continue to deliver on our amazing and critical mission!

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