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Minnesota Marks National Adoption Month

November 1, 2007

Minneapolis, MN – November is "National Adoption Month," and children's advocates are encouraging prospective parents to consider adopting one of the hundreds of Minnesota children in need of homes and families. Stephanie Regnier, who works with the "Special Needs Adoption Program" at Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota says the goal is to highlight placement of kids in need of families, especially those with "special needs." She says they may be difficult to place, but also are the children most in need of permanent homes.

"These kids are under state guardianship because the court terminated their birthparents' rights, typically due to abuse and neglect. These children need a 'forever family,' someone that would commit to them lifelong. They need families that are willing to access resources for their special needs. These children are currently in foster homes or emergency shelters, and they really need adoptive parents to provide a loving and structured home."

Regnier says there are almost 600 such kids now under state guardianship. Most are over six years of age, and many suffer from psychological, educational, or medical disabilities. She adds the adoption process isn't easy, and can take up to a year, but the state covers the adoption-related expenses.

What's in it for the adoptive parents? Regnier says it's a big responsibility that includes plenty of benefits, including helping a troubled youngster develop into a well-adjusted, productive adult.

"The rewards would be helping a child that is currently in a shelter or foster home to get back to the community, and to access resources that these children might not have. It's especially rewarding to adopt an older child or a teenager, who might not be able to get out of foster care except to age out of the system; one who otherwise would never have a family."

Prospective parents can find out more online, at
www.minnesotaadoption.org

Jim Wishner/John Robinson, Public News Service - MN