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30 Days of Hope 2022: Raising awareness for adoption, fostering in Virginia

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30 Days of Hope 2022: Raising awareness for adoption, fostering in Virginia


ROANOKE, Va.In Virginia, youngsters are in disaster and put into foster care resulting from no fault of their very own. However they’ve an advocate. 10 Information Anchor Jenna Zibton works tirelessly all 12 months lengthy investigating the challenges the foster care system faces and revealing the options so all of us may help. You’ve seen the tales throughout the WSLS 10 Youngsters in Disaster collection and 30 Days of Hope, the place we profile one little one who wants a house every single day throughout the month of November.


“This couch is the place we’ve had youngsters really sleep whereas we’re furiously looking for the suitable residence for them,” stated Andy Crawford, the Bedford County Director of Social Providers as he walked us into the room inside their workplaces.

A disaster Virginia has by no means seen earlier than.

“It’s actually nerve-racking for everybody,” stated Crawford.

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Different states have the identical drawback, however by no means right here.

“Should you’re a baby, and also you’re having to sleep on the Division of Social Providers, then you already know that we don’t have anyplace else so that you can go,” defined Crawford.

Our 10 Information investigation, Youngsters in Disaster, adopted the issue for months this 12 months.

“We’re sending Virginian youngsters everywhere in the United States as a result of Virginia services and providers are insufficient to fulfill their wants,” stated Natalie Elliot Useful, the CEO of Intercept Well being, one of many largest non-public suppliers.

On the time of our report in Could, it was solely working at 60 % capability due to staffing points, one thing we’re seeing throughout the foster care system. In keeping with a survey she put out to folks serving youngsters in Virginia, staffing, pay or the kid’s stage of want was among the many high points.

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“A few of the options that Virginia must take a tough take a look at is round how a lot we compensate of us for this work,” stated Allison Gilbreath, who works with Voices for Virginia’s Youngsters shining a light-weight on foster care points. “It’s generally identified and customary observe that different states are keen to pay way more for a placement than an in-state little one. So an instance could be a baby with the very same case file from Tennessee known as a personal facility in Virginia says they are going to pay $1,200 a day for that little one, that facility takes them. A neighborhood Division of Social Providers in Virginia known as with an nearly an identical little one however says we’re solely going to have the ability to afford $600 a day. They don’t take that little one, they take the $1,200 little one from Tennessee.”

Again in April, we discovered 123 youngsters had been positioned out of state in line with the Virginia Division of Social Providers.

“It doesn’t make any sense. It actually simply harms youngsters in the long term. And it makes it tougher for his or her households to take care of relationships with them and to have the ability to finally reunify,” stated Gilbreath.

After our tales and conversations with native social staff, Hopetree Household Providers in Salem renovated a cottage for non permanent emergency housing for kids in foster care.

“What we needed to supply an area that will be very snug, that will be very inviting and would have all of the comforts of residence that they might come and stick with the youngsters till they will discover that applicable placement,” stated HopeTree President & CEO, Jon Morris.

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HopeTree teamed up with Roanoke Metropolis and County DSS together with different organizations to boost over $50,000 to make this mission doable.

“It doesn’t clear up the issue however it’s a step in the suitable course in offering a extra regular setting for the kid,” stated the Director of Roanoke County’s Division of Social Providers, Sue Goad.

One other drawback 10 Information uncovered this 12 months is the security of kids in danger. We discovered that 1000’s of kids are being diverted from foster care, and despatched to dwell with household or buddies with out the correct background checks.

“Everyone knows that the system is flawed,” stated Eric Reynolds, the Director of the Workplace of the Youngsters’s Ombudsman.

However it might be extra flawed than we notice. Reynolds informed us in Could there have been about 4,900 youngsters in foster care, however he believes out-of-home care by social providers is double that.

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“Companies try to keep away from placing youngsters by the system, however they’re making the willpower that the kid isn’t protected to be at residence. You bought plenty of issues with that from a authorized perspective,” stated Reynolds.

10 Information requested if businesses had been attempting to maintain youngsters off the books, or if they’re attempting to maintain their caseloads down.

“It could possibly be all of the above. I don’t know what the reasoning is. Virginia is likely one of the states that has the bottom foster care price and the bottom variety of youngsters in foster care, however I might argue that we’re not counting all these youngsters which are in these various caregiving preparations,” stated Reynolds.

Since judges aren’t concerned, youngsters might be in these preparations for years and fogeys can lose custody completely as a result of there’s no plan for them to get their youngsters again. Reynolds stated Virginia has been attempting to do one thing about this for years, however new insurance policies or legal guidelines haven’t been capable of stick.

After our story aired, Reynolds stated new discussions began between his workplace and different leaders round Virginia to resolve the problems we uncovered. He stated they’ve had some productive discussions which are nonetheless ongoing.

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Foster care diversion is likely one of the important traits and recurring points recognized in his annual report that simply got here out on the finish of November. That made up 25 % of the investigations his workplace did over the past 12 months.

All of that is much more of a cause for WSLS 10 to boost consciousness and assist in the trouble to search out properties for the a whole bunch of kids in Virginia. It’s one thing we’ve executed for the final six years by our signature mission, 30 Days of Hope.

“The Roanoke Valley is absolutely lucky to have 30 Days of Hope. No different area has such an impactful program that highlights adoptable youngsters yearly,” stated Benjamin Jones, Roanoke County Division of Social Providers Supervisor of Foster Care, Adoptions & Sources.

We labored with the Virginia Division of Social Providers to characteristic 35 youngsters in November. The necessity is so nice, we’re persevering with to share the tales of kids who might be adopted in December.

“The notoriety that 30 Days of Hope provides for the youngsters, the viewing space that it reaches, the numbers, I used to be astonished at how shortly the inquiry began coming in and the way main the change was,” stated Vernee Mason, the VDSS Adoption program supervisor, who stated greater than 600 persons are fascinated with foster care and adoption.

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Mason talked about a few of the messages VDSS is getting, because of 30 Days of Hope. “I didn’t notice there have been so many youngsters on the market, it is a nice initiative occurring. This can be a great point that you simply’re doing and we’re getting if they will’t foster or they’re not in a spot to foster, how can we assist which is at all times a fantastic factor, how can we assist? And I’m at all times greater than keen to level them in a course.”

She stated there have been 250 adoptions on this area two years in the past and final 12 months that quantity grew to 266.

“It’s rising an increasing number of as a result of persons are seeing the necessity for it. Persons are viewing 30 Days of Hope,” stated Mason.

There have been unbelievable success tales to return out of the WSLS initiative. Chelsey and Eric Holland adopted two youngsters after seeing 30 Days of Hope.

“It was like an instantaneous connection. From then on I used to be 100% in,” stated Eric.

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One other household additionally adopted. Ryan Downey with DePaul Group Sources stated, “They noticed 30 Days of Hope. They had been simply touched by the necessity of the youngsters within the foster care system and so they stated, ‘I can do that, I may help.’”

Downey stated the household went by the approval course of, and two sisters moved in. When it grew to become evident they couldn’t dwell collectively completely – the brother of the foster mother took one of many youngsters in so they might nonetheless develop up aspect by aspect.

Different households are fostering youngsters they by no means would have considered.

“You impressed us to foster an older little one and now we will’t think about our little household with out him,” stated one of many many messages Jenna’s gotten through the years.

“Love watching your entire foster care tales. It was this collection final 12 months that pushed us to lastly go for it and to decide on older youngsters,” stated one other message.

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Households who’re fostering youngsters due to the necessity they’ve seen, giving Christmas presents to youngsters we’ve featured, or signing as much as assist foster households by applications like CarePortal.

“There’s at all times a surge of inquiries about foster and adoption following the annual 30 Days of Hope rollout. It’s actually wonderful and once more, different areas don’t have the identical spotlight and push and advocacy that we do and we’re actually fortunate,” stated Jones.


You probably have questions on foster care/adoption, contact the VDSS Division of Household Providers Adoption Recruitment Coordinator, at adoptioninquiries@dss.virginia.gov.

To see different 30 Days of Hope tales go to us right here.

We even have a listing of ceaselessly requested questions on foster care and adoption together with the {qualifications}, price, and coaching required on this hyperlink.

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Copyright 2022 by WSLS 10 – All rights reserved.



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Virginia

Virginia surrogacy bill doesn't go far enough

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Virginia surrogacy bill doesn't go far enough


Virginia is on the verge of legalizing surrogacy brokers. A bill sent to Gov. Glenn Youngkin last week would repeal the state’s ban on accepting compensation for facilitating surrogacy arrangements. The Republican governor has through March 8 to sign the bill into law.

Getting rid of the ban on brokering surrogacy is a good idea. But Virginia should go further and ditch its ban on commercial surrogacy, too.

Obsolete and Paternalistic

Under current law, it’s a Class 1 misdemeanor for any person or business “to accept compensation for recruiting or procuring surrogates or…otherwise arranging or inducing an intended parent and surrogates to enter into surrogacy contracts.” Doing so is punishable by up to a year in jail or a fine of up to $2,500. Someone in violation of this law could also be sued by parties to the brokered surrogacy contract.

“This 30-year-old statute is just absolutely obsolete, and it’s not enforced,” family law attorney Colleen Maria Quinn told a House subcommittee in January.

Yet House Bill 110, the measure repealing this provision, has been controversial—perhaps surprisingly so, considering that the old law is not being used and that actual surrogacy for pay would still be banned. In the Virginia House, votes on the measure were nearly evenly split (50–48).

The surrogacy brokerage ban was passed with an eye toward preventing people from being coerced into surrogacy, notes the Virginia Mercury. Some lawmakers have suggested that ending the brokerage ban would mean more coercion. But there are less extreme mechanisms that can ensure everything is on the up and up. As a surrogate, “you’ve got to have your own lawyer, for goodness’ sake,” Del. Rip Sullivan (D-Fairfax) said at the January subcommittee hearing. And this attorney is “obligated to make sure [a surrogate is] acting of [her] own free will.”

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To recap: A woman can say she consents to be a surrogate, show through her actions that she consents to be a surrogate, have a lawyer attest to her consent to be a surrogate…and some people will still worry that she didn’t really consent to be a surrogate.

This is, alas, par for the paternalistic course when it comes to women’s decisions involving their bodies.

A certain sort of person will never be convinced that a woman would willingly become a surrogate, or get an abortion, or engage in sex for pay, and so on. So they deny the agency of women who do, in fact, willingly do these things. And they use this alleged lack of agency to justify roadblocks for women’s “protection.”

In this case, a woman who wants to be a surrogate is not only barred from being paid for her services, she also needs a court-appointed lawyer to speak for her so the state will see her as apable of speaking for herself.

Now Let People Pay Surrogates

There should be no ban on commercial surrogacy. Surrogacy is good for women and good for families (something I elaborated on in a recent op-ed for The Dispatch). It helps families have biological children they may not otherwise be able to have, and it can provide income and purpose to those serving as surrogates.

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There’s been a good deal of research on surrogate mothers that counters conservative and radical feminist fears about the process. Far from being a last resort that only women with no other financial prospects do, surrogacy is often undertaken by women with altruistic as well as financial motives. Surrogates often report that their experiences are positive, harmonious, and meaningful. Decades of research on surrogate experiences has found that many are emotionally and psychologically well-adjusted. Studies also suggest that surrogates seldom regret the experience years later.

Of course, such positive experiences aren’t going to be universal. But we don’t generally ban things just because some fraction of people have negative experiences. In fact, it’s a bad idea to ban things based on the prevalence of positive or negative feelings about them at all. Is isn’t the government’s job to protect adults’ emotional well-being.

In this and so many other matters, the government should get out of the way and let consenting adults contract as they see fit.

Virginia lawmakers are right to repeal the state’s ban on surrogacy brokers. Next they should repeal the laws that forbid direct payment for the service of surrogacy and that allow surrogate compensation only for costs associated with the pregnancy.

They should also do away with laws making the whole process more burdensome for all  parties and giving the government final say over whether surrogacy arrangements are OK. Under current Virginia law, a court must approve all surrogacy contracts and the approval is only good for 12 months. To get approval, intended parents and surrogates must pass a home fitness and parental fitness investigation undertaken by a social service worker or child welfare agent. They also have to undergo “counseling concerning the effects of the surrogacy.” In addition, the surrogate must prove that she has given birth at least once before and the intended parents must prove that they are infertile or unable to bear a child “without unreasonable risk.” And all parties must undergo “physical examinations and psychological evaluation” and turn records of such over to the court. Only if all of these conditions are acceptably met will the state give people permission to go forward with a surrogacy contract.

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Underlying all of this is the idea that women are too dumb or fragile to make decisions about their own bodies and that the state should get to say who’s allowed to form families and under what circumstances. These ideas need to go, as does the idea that economic concerns can render consent invalid.

As Virginia Del. Candi Mundon King (D–Prince William) told her colleagues during the legislative debate, “being economically disadvantaged does not make you any less intelligent. It does not make you any less able to make your own decisions, whether they be financial, health or otherwise. We should be careful not to stigmatize those who are economically disadvantaged or put them into a category that they cannot understand how complicated and deeply personal surrogacy is.”

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Colonial Beach, Virginia | 2018 (ENB/Reason)



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DraftKings Bonus Code in Virginia – Bet $5 Get $200 In bonus bets instantly!

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DraftKings Bonus Code in Virginia – Bet $5 Get $200 In bonus bets instantly!


Virginia DraftKings Promo Code: Click Here

Bet $5 Get $200 In bonus bets instantly!

DraftKings Virginia Bonus Code: How to Redeem the Offer

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Put yourself in the most ideal situation by taking advantage of this opportunity and securing this special offer, giving you a chance to attain an overwhelming net positive with your bets. Follow the steps below to register and get the top DraftKings promo code in Virginia: Click Here

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Wanting to bet on one of today’s games but aren’t sure how to get started? Here’s a quick breakdown. Some of the most common betting types include the moneyline, spread, and over/under. A moneyline bet means that you think one of the teams will win. It’s that simple! If the team you picked does bring home the win, and you bet $10 on odds of -110, you’d get $19 back.

While it can be a bit more complicated, betting against the point spread can provide a bigger payout or better chance to win in certain situations. If a team, for example, is +3, the +3 means that they must win, tie, or lose by no more than the spread amount to “cover.” But if their opponent wins by more than the spread, then they will “cover” the spread, making them the winning side of the wager.

An easier way to bet is to wager on a game’s over/under (or point total). All you have to do is pick whether you think the combined score of both teams will be higher or lower than the set “total” at the end of the contest. It’s that simple.

Games in Virginia Today

Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks vs. Norfolk State Spartans

  • League: NCAAMBB
  • Game Time: 7:30 PM ET
  • Location: Norfolk, Virginia
  • TV Channel: Watch on ESPN+
  • Spread Favorite: Norfolk State (-12.5)
  • Total: 135.5

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Not all offers available in all states. Please gamble responsibly! Contact 1-800-GAMBLER if you or someone you know has developed a gambling problem or addiction.



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Trump leans in on immigration, crime during campaign stop in Richmond • Virginia Mercury

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Trump leans in on immigration, crime during campaign stop in Richmond • Virginia Mercury


Former President Donald Trump made a campaign stop in Richmond Saturday ahead of Super Tuesday, a day of primary voting that is expected to seal his bid to be the Republican nominee for president in November.

“With your help, we will win big on Super Tuesday,” Trump told the crowd of a few thousand at the Richmond Convention Center. “This November, Virginia is going to tell crooked Joe Biden, you’re fired, you’re fired, get out of here, get out of the White House.”

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Richmond (Charlie Paullin/Virginia Mercury)

A recent national poll conducted by The New York Times and Siena College found Trump has a 5 point lead over Biden. But those results may not be mirrored in Virginia: In their last matchup in 2020, Biden beat Trump in Virginia by 10 percentage points. The results of a separate poll from the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at Roanoke College released Friday found Biden had a 4 percentage point lead over Trump among Virginians. That poll also found that if Trump challenger Nikki Haley, a former South Carolina governor, were the Republican nominee, she would beat Biden in Virginia by a solid 9 points.

Calling himself a “political dissident” Saturday evening, Trump’s speech in Richmond largely focused on immigration and crime. He specifically cited the recent death of Laken Riley, a 22-year-old University of Georgia nursing student whom authorities say was beaten to death by a Venezuelan migrant, and the shooting death of a 2-year-old in Montgomery County, Maryland. Law enforcement has arrested five suspects in the latter case, one of whom is a Salvador national who was slated for deportation last year but was later released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.   

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“We now have a new category of crime, you know what it’s called? It’s called migrant crime. And this category is turning out to be worse than any crime we’ve ever had in our country,” Trump said. “I was going to call it Biden migrant crime. But if you do that it’s too long. It doesn’t work.”

Trump pledged that if elected, he would “terminate every open border policy of the Biden administration” on his first day in office. 

“We will begin the largest domestic deportation operation in American history,” he said. “We have no choice. This is not sustainable by any country.”

Immigration, he warned the audience, was also affecting schools: “In New York, they have pupils from foreign countries, from countries where they don’t even know what the language is. We have nobody that even teaches it,” Trump said. “These are languages that nobody ever heard of. They’re sitting in the school chairs of people, of kids, that were there, and those kids aren’t able to go to school any longer. There’s no place they can go. They’re taking the school, and they don’t speak a word of English.”

Richmond resident Joe Wilson, 27, who said he attended the rally not to support Trump but to witness the movement behind him, said “it’s kind of fascinating the amount of pandemonium he can cause. I just can’t wrap my head around it.” 

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Attendees at a rally for former President Donald Trump in Richmond (Charli Paullin/Virginia Mercury)

During his speech, Trump touted himself as “the first president in decades who started no new wars” and claimed that had he been in office in October, Hamas wouldn’t have “thought” of attacking Israel. Dealing with adversaries like China, Russia and North Korea, he said, was easier than “dealing with radical-left lunatics in the United States.”

Trump’s stance on the U.S.’ global position resonated with attendee Brad Slaybaugh, 58, of Colonial Heights.

“Where do you want me to start — you want to talk about China, you want to talk about Russia, you want to talk about Israel, you want to talk about Ukraine, you want to talk about the border, you talk about the economy, talk about fossil fuels?” Slaybaugh said in response to a question about what appealed to him about Trump. “Our status in the world’s fallen. The world is chaos, because we’re not strong and they know it.” 

Trump also struck many familiar themes on domestic issues Saturday: He urged oil producers to “drill, baby, drill” in order to secure U.S. energy independence, touted tax and regulatory cuts passed during his term and decried recent nationwide inflation.

Chesterfield residents Thomas and Debra Tubbs, 64 and 65, said cost of living was one of their reasons for supporting Trump.

“A lot of medicine because of him came down in price, especially senior citizens in particular,” said Debra Tubbs. “We go to the store and spend $250, we come out of there with nearly nothing. It’s really affecting everything.”

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A sign held during a rally in Richmond. (Charlie Paullin/Virginia Mercury)

Trump made no mention of Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who was long rumored to be toying with a presidential bid of his own. Youngkin’s rise to power in the increasingly blue-leaning Virginia — a feat he accomplished by keeping a careful distance from Trump but avoiding any overt criticism of the former president that could alienate supporters — was seen by many as offering a new playbook for Republicans in less deep-red states. 

Youngkin, whom Trump took a swipe at in a bizarre social media post in November 2022, did not attend the rally. He told the Richmond Times-Dispatch he had a previously scheduled family commitment. Youngkin’s name was also not included on a list of 40 Republican leaders endorsing Trump that his campaign released Friday. Nor were Republicans Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears, who has called Trump a “liability to the mission,” Attorney General Jason Miyares or Congresswoman Jen Kiggans.

In addition to Del. Wren Williams, R-Patrick, who addressed the crowd before Trump took the stage, in attendance for the event were U.S. Rep. Bob Good (R-Campbell), and state Sen. John McGuire (R-Goochland). Good and McGuire are locked in a heated battle to represent Virginia’s 5th Congressional District. 

The Tubbs said they thought former Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley would be a good pick for Trump’s vice president as a way to win over female voters. Haley stopped in western Henrico Thursday for a rally of her own ahead of Super Tuesday. 

“She’s got a lot of good ideas,” said Debra Tubbs. Thomas Tubbs quickly added, “He’s got the balls to carry it out.”

Earlier in the day, Democrats held a counter rally in Richmond featuring U.S. Rep. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond), who focused on the threat Trump could pose to reproductive rights if elected to a second term. Most recently, Trump has floated the idea of a 15- or 16-week ban on the procedure.

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“Even though Virginians stopped MAGA Republicans’ attempts to pass an extreme abortion ban here in Virginia by voting at the ballot box this past November, the stakes could not be higher for reproductive freedom this November,” McClellan said.

A man holds up a sign stating former President Trump is a dictator. (Charlie Paullin/Virginia Mercury)

While other Trump rallies have drawn sharp counter protests, Saturday’s event sparked little organized activity from opponents. A truck playing a video in support of Haley’s bid drove around the rally site before it began, and a few people held up signs, one of which called Trump a dictator.

“Your Fellow AMERICANS are NOT the Enemy,” read the other.





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