This year’s 21st annual Celebrate Adoption: Circus of the Heart event will celebrate the 955 children adopted from the state’s foster care system last year and highlight the need for 820 foster children waiting for families. The event will take place Sunday, Nov. 4, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Northern Star Scouting Base Camp, 6202 Bloomington Road, Fort Snelling, Minn.
Adoption experts from state, county and nonprofit organizations will be on hand to provide information and answer questions for those interested in learning more about adopting children from the foster care system. As part of the celebration, families will enjoy family photos, pony rides, face and nail painting, henna art, a petting zoo, reptile exhibit, refreshments and games. They will also have the chance to win prizes as part of a free drawing. The event is free and open to the public.
“This event is one small way for us to honor the adoptive families in Minnesota who have opened their hearts and homes to children in need over the years,” said Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper. “Adoption is a life-changing event – both for parents and children.”
Each year, hundreds of children in the foster care system need adoptive families – relatives and others – to provide safe, loving and nurturing homes. The need is particularly great for siblings who must be adopted together and older youth.
“We don’t want any children to wait for long periods in foster care, but older children, in particular, don’t have the luxury of waiting. They face uncertain futures if they are not adopted and age out of the foster care system,” Piper said.
Of the 820 Minnesota children who need adoptive homes as of August 2018:
- 66 percent have a documented special need, including physical, mental, emotional or a behavioral disability
- 63 percent are children of color
- 58 percent are siblings who need to be adopted together
- 39 percent are between 12 and 18 years old.
“Most children in the foster care system have experienced significant trauma in their young lives. We can’t stress enough the need for these children to become a permanent part of stable homes, so they can continue to heal and focus more on just being kids,” Piper said.
Adoptive parents don’t have to be young, wealthy, married or homeowners. It’s also important that prospective adoptive parents know that they will have the support they may need to help children successfully transition to adulthood.
Human Services Assistant Commissioner Nikki Farago will briefly welcome those attending the event. An adoptive family will also share their experience with adoption.
To find out more about adoption in Minnesota, attend the event to talk with adoptive families and professionals in the field, contact your country social service agency or MN Adopt, or visit the department's website at mn.gov/dhs
The event is hosted by the Minnesota Department of Human Services, MN ADOPT and other partners.