State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Jeb Bush
Governor

Lucy D. Hadi
Secretary


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Al Zimmerman
November 17, 2006 850-488-4855

DCF RECOGNIZES NATIONAL ADOPTION AWARENESS MONTH
- Department encourages every Floridian to learn how they can make a difference in the life of a child -

            MIAMI - Department of Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Lucy Hadi asked Floridians statewide today to join in recognizing November as National Adoption Awareness Month while attending National Adoption Day festivities in Miami. Hadi joined Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez, Congresswoman Carrie Meek , representatives of local child welfare agencies; the 11th Circuit court and many south Florida families to present Governor Jeb Bush's proclamation declaring November National Adoption Awareness Month.

            "Some Floridians travel half way around the world to adopt a child when there are children of all ethnicities who desperately need loving parents right here at home," said Hadi. "Hundreds of children across the state were adopted this month, children who now have someone to dry their tears and help them find a future, but there are many more still waiting for that love to be provided to them. How long will they have to wait?"

            Nationwide, approximately 118,000 children in foster care await placement with a permanent adoptive family. Today, a one-day record of 75 adoptions took place at Miami's Juvenile Justice Center to raise awareness of Florida youth available for adoption. Currently, a total of 4,642 children are available for adoption and adoptive families have been identified for more than 2,727 of them. However, more than 1,900 Florida children still desperately need adoptive families.

            Through DCF's Family Safety Program Office, Adoption Unit staff work to find forever families for children in the care and custody of the department so they can experience the love and stability of a secure family life. The majority of children in custody of the state are reunited with their parents or placed with relatives, however, some children remain in the care of the state and through the Adoption Program Office, adoptive families are sought to care for them.

            Potential adoptive parents can learn more about the adoption process in Florida, how they can assist children awaiting adoption, even if they cannot become adoptive parents themselves, as well as view children available for adoption through the Department of Children and Families Web site. Visit www.dcf.state.fl.us/adoption or call 1-800-96-ADOPT to learn more about the Adoption Program Office. The Florida Department of Children and Families is committed to protecting the vulnerable, promoting strong and economically self-sufficient families, and advancing personal and family recovery and resiliency.

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