The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Service, the City of Monroe and the Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo recently co-sponsored a Saturday event to promote awareness of adoption. There are many families that would like to adopt a child, and many children need adopting. However, they are languishing in foster care and other temporary, less desirable arrangements. One difficulty with foster care placements is that as children "age out" and become adults, their support usually ends. They don't have a continuing family to return to. Adoption means becoming part of a "forever family," and most adoptive parents don't think of those they adopt as "my adopted child." They simply think of "my child," one to be supported, nurtured and helped through college, marriage, career and the rest of their lives.
The event involved opening up the zoo free of charge and letting prospective and current foster and adoptive parents enter, as well as children in foster placements available for adoption. One 13-year-old girl attending continues to hope that she will eventually be adopted, but stated that she has now been a foster child for six years. Events like this hope to both raise general awareness of adoption and encourage some who have been thinking about it to move forward.
Additionally, it was a fun way to both let the children see the animals and introduce them in a great environment to a number of people seeking to possibly become adoptive parents. Some children in foster care, unfortunately, get moved to several different homes during their childhood, making it difficult for them to achieve stability, retain friends or stay at the same schools.
In Monroe alone, there are currently 40 children that need adoptive families, and over 700 children are in the foster care system in the northeastern area of Louisiana. Hopefully, this and similar events will bring more families and children together.
Source: The News Star.com, "Adoption awareness event brings children, families together" Scott Rogers, Nov. 30, 2013