Adoption Bottleneck in Clark County

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(photo- AFP/Getty Images)

(photo- AFP/Getty Images)

(Las Vegas CBS KXNT)  Clark County’s Department of Child and Family Services matched about 800 children with adoptive families last year, but that number is expected to drop dramatically in 2012, according to Assemblywoman April Mastroluca.

“We’ll be lucky if Clark County hits 500 adoptions this year,” Mastroluca told KXNT on Thursday.

The assemblywoman says the adoption bottleneck is in Family Court, where there’s only one judge to process the adoptions.  She’s drafting a bill for the 2013 legislature that would require the reassignment of existing judges, putting five more in place to hear adoptions, parental terminations, and child welfare cases.

“We’re not asking for additional judges,” Mastroluca said. “There’s no additional funding that would be necessary.”

The very slowdown that’s now frustrating adoptive families could cause prolonged delays in the system, Mastroluca said.

“The money that’s allocated from the sate for adoptions is based on the previous year’s numbers,” she told KXNT.  “It has the possibility of becoming a financial issue for Clark County.”

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