Adoption celebration is November 21
November 12, 2002
Bismarck, N.D. - Governor John Hoeven has declared November Adoption Awareness Month in North Dakota. In recognition, adoption advocates and adoptive families will be gathering for a celebration in Fargo on November 21 at the Ramada Plaza Suites and Convention Center. Festivities will begin at 3:30 p.m. with a formal program at 4 p.m.
"We are gathering to celebrate families created through adoption and to draw attention to the children in North Dakota who are still waiting to be adopted," said North Dakota Department of Human Services Adoption Administrator Julie Hoffman.
Organizers will hold a special "calling out" ceremony to recognize about 26 children in North Dakota who are still waiting for love and a home through adoption. They will also present the Special Needs Adoptive Family of the Year Award and the Adoption Triad Award, which recognizes birth parents and adoptive parents involved in an open adoption. Adoption advocates will also be honored for their work.
During the 2002 state fiscal year, 363 children were adopted in North Dakota, Hoffman said. Of those children, 197 were adopted by stepparents, 97 were children with special needs, 16 were foreign-born, and 53 were infants.
Adoption services in North Dakota are provided by six private child-placing entities, which are licensed by the state's Department of Human Services (DHS). They include the Adults Adopting Special Kids Program (AASK) - a collaboration involving DHS, Lutheran Social Services (LSS), the Village Family Service Center, and Catholic Family Service; the Adoption Option - a collaboration involving LSS and the Village; Catholic Family Service; Christian Family Life Services; New Horizons Foreign Adoption Services; and Latter Day Saints Family Services.
Julie Hoffman, Administrator of Adoption Services, N.D. Department of Human Services, Bismarck, N.D., (701) 328-4805
Leanne Johnson, Director, AASK Program, Fargo, N.D., (701) 271-3265
Heather Steffl, Public Information Specialist, N.D. Department of Human Services, (701) 328-4933