DCF Press Release


State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Charlie Crist
Governor

Robert A. Butterworth
Secretary


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Al Zimmerman
November 18, 2007 850-488-4855

Children and Families Celebrates National Adoption Day
~ More than 100 children find their forever families this week ~

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. - Department of Children and Families Secretary Bob Butterworth congratulated new families around the state this weekend for opening their hearts and homes to children in need. Large scale adoption ceremonies have been taking place throughout Florida this week in commemoration of National Adoption Day Saturday, November 17, 2007. Butterworth was on hand in Broward County Saturday to witness the adoption of 33 children and Children and Families Assistant Secretary George Sheldon attended Miami-Dade County's adoption celebration Friday where 65 children were united with their new forever families.

"I'm honored to have been here to see children and parents who once were strangers now become a family," said Butterworth. "With new loving parents to guide their path, the sky is the limit for all of these children."

This week Children and Families also united with the national Once Church, One Child Initiative to launch two adoption pilot projects in Duval and Hillsborough counties. Senator Tony Hill, Judge David Gooding of the Fourth Judicial Circuit and Jim Kallinger, Florida's Chief Child Advocate, were on hand to raise awareness regarding the need for adoptive families in Jacksonville and Tampa. One Church, One Child is a national minority adoption recruitment program, operating in 32 states designed to find adoptive homes for African-American children. According to One Church, One Child, African-American children represent a disproportionate 46 percent of children in need of permanent homes in Florida.

"One Church, One Child is responsible for finding forever families for tens of thousands of children throughout the country," said Butterworth. "We believe together we can bring that kind of success to Florida and help the many children in our care who are in need of the safety and security of good and nurturing home."

Throughout National Adoption Month, the Department encourages all Floridians to learn more about how they can change the lives of children in need through adoption. For more information on the Department of Children and Families' Office of Adoptions or tips on how to become an adoptive parent, visit http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/adoption/


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