Gov. Bob McDonnell Kicks Off Adoption Campaign In Fairfax

"Virginia Adopts: Campaign for 1,000" has goal of matching 1,000 children in foster care with adoptive families.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell talks in Fairfax.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell talks in Fairfax.
by William Callahan

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell stopped by Fairfax County Government Center on Tuesday to promote his "Virginia Adopts: Campaign for 1,000" initiative.

McDonnell launched the project in May with the goal of matching 1,000 children in foster care with adoptive families. The General Assembly has allocated $1.5 million for the campaign.

Virginia has 4,000 children in foster care, McDonnell said; the campaign hopes to save children who could age out of the system.

Children who age out of foster care are less likely to finish high school or college or find stable housing, and more likely to commit crime, McDonnell said.

"Those statistics aren’t just heartbreaking," he said. "They really are unacceptable."

About 100 people gathered in the forum at Government Center to hear addresses from the governor, as well as Prince William County Supervisor Marty Nohe and Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield), who are both adoptive parents.

Herrity spoke about his adopted daughter, Valeria, during his address and urged parents to think about the possibility of changing a child's life for the better.

Herrity and his wife, Nancy, adopted Valeria in 2002 when she was 9 years old. She is now 21 and about to graduate from culinary school, Herrity said.

"It's hard for me to talk about my daughter Valeria as an 'adopted daughter,'" Herrity said. "She is my daughter."

"Whether you're Republican, Democrat, pro-choice, pro-life, I don't think it matters," McDonnell said. "This is one of those things that I think really binds people together."

McDonnell has been making similar stops around the Commonwealth and will wrap up his tour Aug. 1 in Abingdon, Va.


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