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Minnesota Marks "National Adoption Month"

November 3, 2008

St. Paul, MN - November is "National Adoption Month," an effort to encourage the adoption of children and youth from foster care.

Valerie Romanoski, senior program manager of Pregnancy and Birth Parent Services for Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota says the goal is to get the word out that there are a lot of children looking for permanent homes and families.

"Every child deserves a loving, nurturing home. Children who have been in the foster care system, obviously, have not always received that."

She says being in a stable family improves a kid's chances of leading a productive and satisfying life. State officials report there are 570 children under state guardianship waiting for adoption. Two-thirds are more than six years old, and some suffer from mental or medical disabilities.

Romanoski says the adoption process has changed considerably in recent years to make it less bureaucratic, and to provide more support for parents. One improvement she cites is what’s called "open adoption," which gets all parties involved – on a long-term basis.

"There aren't the questions. There's not the uncertainty. There's not the 'who am I?' And everyone becomes an extension of family."

Romanoski notes the birth parent may actually help select the adopting parents, and they often form a permanent relationship – something that benefits everyone, especially the child. In addition, she says, says adoption is a good alternative for those who face an unwanted pregnancy.

"It's a very scary time, a very uncertain time. And, it's important for her to know that adoption is a positive option when you are faced with an unplanned pregnancy."

She says anyone interested in learning more about the adoption process can log onto www.MinnesotaAdoption.org.

Jim Wishner, Public News Service - MN