LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – Thursday marks World Adoption Day. It allows people to share their stories about the journey they navigated throughout adoption and life after.
Beth Diehl was adopted as an infant.
“Your parents had to take what they got. Mine chose me,” Diehl said.
Her adoptive parents made sure to tell her and her brother the truth at a young age.
“I would think as early as 7 or 8 they explained it to us so we kind of understood it so it made it really no big deal,” she said.
That didn’t stop Diehl from trying to find answers. She got in contact with her biological parents in her late twenties.
“I always had a curiosity. I really never knew what to do or how to go about it,” Diehl said.
It was the parent of a friend that helped Diehl find her biological parents. She now has kids of her own, and a soft spot resides for those who haven’t found a loving family, yet.
“There are kids out there that are toddlers, teens who haven’t aged out of the foster system,” Diehl said. “They deserve as much of a chance to become a part of a family.”
In Pennsylvania, there’s an increase in those needing a chance.
“When you look at it over a broad span, there’s always more and more children in care needing homes and needing to find adoptive families,” Tricia Deatrick, a senior permanency specialist with Families United Network, said.
Deatrick says around 3,000 kids are waiting to be adopted in the state. She adds adoption numbers may be down due to some of the procedures for becoming an adoptive family.
“I think the process can be intense,” Deatrick said. “It can be a little invasive and so people are afraid of that process.”
However, if you have a safe home for a child to live in, most people can qualify to adopt.
“It probably used to be just married couples only. Now we are open to any background, any demographics. We don’t discriminate,” Deatrick said.
It’s places like Families United Network that are trying to pair a child with a family like the one that found Diehl.
“I’m my parent’s child,” Diehl said. “My parents who raised me are my parents.”