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For 15 years, the Minnesota Department of Human Services and its partners have hosted Celebrate Adoption: A Circus of the Heart to commemorate the adoption of children from the foster care system in the previous year. But the event is more than a celebration with games, music, prizes, pony rides, fire trucks and a petting zoo – it’s also an opportunity to learn more about adopting children in the foster care system. Experts from the state, counties and adoption agencies will be available throughout the day to provide information and answer questions. The event, which is free and open to the public, is Nov. 4 from 1-4 p.m. at the Prom Center Event Facility in Oakdale.
“We have 355 children who need adoptive families immediately,” said the Minnesota Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson. “We are looking for adoptive parents who can best meet their needs, who can love them unconditionally and who can provide them with safe, nurturing homes for a lifetime.”
Of the 355 children waiting, 35 percent are 12-18 years old and 46 percent are siblings who need to be adopted together. Last year, families adopted 540 children from the foster care system, many of whom will be celebrating at the Circus of the Heart event this year.
In addition to information tables staffed by adoption experts, the event will include a short program at 1 p.m. Commissioner Jesson will give a brief welcome and a young person will talk about adoption via video.
“Every child deserves a family,” Jesson said. “We’re looking for adoptive parents who can provide love, guidance and structure to children, particularly adolescents and sibling groups who often wait the longest for families.”
For those unable to attend the event, more information is available:
Celebrate Adoption: A Circus of the Heart is sponsored by MN ADOPT, a program managed by MARN under state contract and the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Partners include Anoka, Hennepin and Ramsey counties, and several private adoption agencies: Ampersand Families, Bethany Christian Services, Children’s Home Society & Family Services, Downey Side Inc., Family Focus, HOPE Adoption & Family Services International Inc., Kindred Family Services/Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota and North Homes Adoption Program.
For more information about adopting children under state guardianship, contact your county social service agency or visit MARN’s website, www.mnadopt.org, or call MARN at 612-861-7115 or 866-303-6276.
Editor’s note: Adoptive families and adoption experts are available for interviews. Contact Beth Voigt, Minnesota Department of Human Services, 651-431-3833.