AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Georgia leaders and many others want to keep the state’s adoption rate’s strong momentum going. From 2015 to 2020, adoptions in the Peach State increased from 761 to 1,410. 

Now a new adoption tool to match families with kids just launched in Georgia. 

Kristina Mongillo and her husband Eric run Augusta’s Broad Street Ministry Center. And they have a big team to help.

Kristina went down the list, “Abbigail, Sarah, Hannah, Maria, Diego, Angelica, Gabriel, and Emily.”

The Mongillos have three biological kids, They’ve adopted five.

“They gave me a whole new life too. That these children, I think they’re more of a blessing to me than perhaps we are to them. They have changed my way of thinking and accepting different kinds of people,” said Kristina.

Currently, the state reports about 300 kids are waiting for a loving home.

“The greatest need is for families who are open to adopting sibling groups which consist of two to three or more children in those groups,” said Adoption-Share Director of Family-Match Program for Georgia, Kimberly Brown.

Kristina and her husband did exactly that.

She said, “God has provided everything. We have never been in need. It’s tight, there’s a family of ten. We live in a three-bedroom house and we do the best we can but we’ve never been in need.”

The new family-matching adoption tool launched on December 1. It’s under a partnership between the Georgia Department of Human Services Division of Family & Children Services (DFCS) and Adoption-Share.

The non-profit’s founder and CEO, Thea Ramirez, said, “We’re going beyond those more or less artificial sort of types of preferences matching and what we’re doing is a deeper dive into what are the attributes relationally that are at play between a family and a child.”

The pilot program is a predictive model to better match families with kids. It includes a compatibility assessment that was developed by former eHarmony researchers.

“Those assessments are based on over 200 peer-reviewed research articles that ever looked at any individual attribute in relation to the success or failure to a foster or adoption placement. So going back to your original question Wes, this is going beyond, ‘the Anderson family likes football and so does Stacey therefore they’re a good match.’ Our system kind of goes more into how each parent forms attachment,” explained Ramirez.

You can check out the program by clicking or tapping here.

As for Mongillo, she said if you’re thinking about adopting or even fostering, don’t hesitate.