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"Answering the Call" awareness celebration set

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MONROE, La., (KNOE 8 News) - "Answering the Call", the adoption awareness celebration in Monroe is scheduled for 2pm, Wednesday, November 14th, at City Hall here in Monroe.

The celebration, which is designed to address the critical need for adoptive families for infants, older children and teenagers is part of National Adoption Month, which is held each November and includes National Adoption Day on November 13th.

The Monroe event is designed to honor adoptive families and to raise public awareness of children who have been freed for adoption and are in need of safe and permanent homes.

More than 674 children statewide -- 41 in Northeast Louisiana -- are freed for adoption and need a permanent home, according to the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

The event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the DCFS, and will feature guest speakers, entertainment, refreshments, and the Heart Gallery display, a professional photo display of children in Northeast Louisiana that need permanent homes.

According to the Administration for Children and Families, more than 408,400 children are currently in foster care in the United States. While about half of the children return to their parents, the others will remain in foster care. Of these children, about 115,000 children are waiting for adoption.
In addition, more than 20,000 youth "age out" of foster care each year across the nation without ever being adopted. Children who exit foster care without ever experiencing a permanent family are more likely to have poor outcomes.

Nationally, more than half of the children waiting for families are members of a minority group, over the age of seven, and brothers and sisters who want to stay together. Statistics indicate that it would take less than 1 percent of the American population to give every waiting child a home.

National Adoption Month has been observed throughout the United States for many years. Its roots can be traced back to 1976 when the Governor of Massachusetts first proclaimed Adoption Week. Later that year, President Gerald Ford made the observance official. It eventually became a tradition to celebrate Adoption Week in November. As awareness and participation grew, so did the number of states proclaiming the observance.

In 1995, President Clinton proclaimed the month of November as National Adoption Month. Today, National Adoption Month is celebrated during the month of November throughout the United States. Its purpose is to provide national awareness of the need for adoptive families, to celebrate children and families, and to call our nation to action to ensure safety, permanency and well being for all of our children.

For more information, call Wanda Washington, DCFS Adoption Supervisor, at (318) 362-3446

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