(FOX 9) - All week, the Minnesota Department of Human Services and MN ADOPT have held an online event to thank those who have adopted kids out of foster care and encourage more to do the same.
"The decision to adopt a child or a sibling group, just like becoming a parent in any other way, is a life-changing experience," says Nikki Farago, the deputy commissioner of the Department of Human Services.
The week-long event is called "Circus of the Heart." It’s in its 24th year, but this is the second in a row it’s been held online-only, due to COVID-19.
The point, says Farago, is two-fold. "One, primarily, is to honor our families that have been created through adoption, and two, is to provide information to those that may be considering adoption from our foster care system."
In the past year, 965 children have been adopted from Minnesota’s foster care system. But 641 are still waiting for permanent placement. The goal is to place kids with relatives, which about 60% are, but that still leaves a huge number waiting for volunteer families.
"To see kids that are finding permanent placements, they feel loved and they can thrive, is certainly a gift to many of us, especially those that get to work directly with them," Farago told FOX 9.
Anyone interested in adoption, which Fargo calls a "significant decision," should contact their county social service agency or tribal social service agency. They can also contact MNADOPT.ORG for more information.
November is "Adoption from Foster Care Month" in Minnesota. But Farago says the needs are more than just one month, or one week.
"I mean, got into this work because I adore children and wanted to do my part in supporting families and supporting children and seeing them thrive."