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Editorial: Open your home and your heart to adoption

Last Modified: Friday, November 15, 2013 4:47 PM

November marks National Adoption Awareness Month, a time to encourage eligible families across the country to consider opening their homes to children in need.

There are more than 4,000 Louisiana children in foster care, according to the state Department of Child and Family Services, and each one needs a safe, stable and loving environment.

Nearly 200 children aged out of the foster program in Louisiana last year before they could either be reunited with their family or adopted.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

There are five easy steps to certification: orientation, application, fingerprinting, pre-service training and home study.

To the department’s credit, the state has seen an increase in adoptions for a fourth consecutive year. Last year alone, 500 families opened their homes and adopted more than 700 children.

The department’s Faith in Families initiative had a part in that, said DCFS Secretary Suzy Sonnier.

The initiative’s goal is to reduce the number of children in foster care by half, decrease the amount of time children spend in the system and ensure every child has a permanent home when they leave the system.

By 2015, DCFS hopes the Faith in Families initiative, which was launched in March, will allow the agency to reduce the number of children in foster care by 1,000 and ensure that 95 percent of all children returned to their biological families will not return to foster care.

“Children deserve strong and loving families,” Sonnier said. “This initiative will bring positive and life-changing impacts to children in our foster care system.”

There’s no time like the present. Consider expanding your family today through adoption.

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This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Mike Jones, Jim Beam, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.

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