The time a child spends on the adoption list seems longer in northeastern Kentucky, at least in a state auditor’s report.

Of FIVCO counties with adoption cases last year, the “average months between removal (from the home) and adoption finalized” ranged from 44 months to 64 months; that is, from nearly four to more than five years.

The Kentucky average is three years in state custody during the adoption process, according to the 124-page report released Thursday by state Auditor Crit Luallen.

Not all custody issues or cases where the state removes children from homes lead to adoptions. But Luallen’s report tracked every case and attempted to correlate data on everything from reuniting families and state law’s adoption rules to the time it took to set a goal of adoption in cases.

Overall, the data shows that adoptions across Kentucky are “taking too long,” Luallen said, and that there are ways to shorten the process.

For the most part, data covering the FIVCO Area Development District region appeared to mirror the statewide data, according to the audit report that breaks it down county by county.

Of children in state custody as of Aug. 24 this year, FIVCO counties had 276 out of a total population of 31,000 children.

Boyd County was among the 10 counties statewide that accounted for approximately half of the children in state custody.

Of FIVCO children in state custody, 56 listed adoption as the ultimate goal.

The number of children adopted in the 2005 federal fiscal year totaled 40 in the same counties.

According to a timeline of key adoption events, the average months between removal and final adoption for those children adopted were:

—64.02 months in Elliott County’s four cases

—52.89 months in Boyd County’s 19 cases

—44.73 months in Carter County’s 17 cases

—43.21 months in Rowan County’s 8 cases

(No adoption cases were recorded in Greenup or Lawrence counties. However, adoption data in the report is organized according to the case worker’s home county.)

On the other hand, it took less average time when it came to removal of a child from a home and setting the goal of adoption for that child — 13.62 months in Elliott County, 15.5 months in Rowan County, 18.04 months in Boyd County and 18.85 months in Carter County.

And time was significantly shorter when it came to “average months between both mother’s and father’s TPR (termination of parental rights) judgments and adoption finalized” — 6.88 months in Rowan, 13.59 months in Carter County, 17.48 months in Boyd County, and 36.07 months in Elliott County.

The full report, in the form of a 4-megabyte PDF file, may be downloaded from the state auditor’s Web site:

ALLEN BLAIR can be reached at or (606) 326-2657.

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