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Anchorage – This past Saturday was National Adoption Day, held annually on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Currently, Alaska has the second highest number of youth per capita in the nation waiting for an adoptive home. There are over 700 youth in Alaska’s foster care system that are ready and waiting for adoptive parents.
“Foster care is not a substitute for a permanent, loving parent,” said Representative Les Gara, who grew up in foster care and has been an advocate for foster youth in Alaska. “We have a huge shortage of adoptive families in Alaska and hundreds of children waiting for a permanent home. National Adoption Day on Saturday reminds us that there is more we can all do to help these vulnerable youth and increase the chances they will succeed in life.”
National Adoption Day was started in 2000 by a coalition of organizations working to improve the lives of America’s foster youth, including the Alliance for Children’s Rights and the Children’s Action Network.
Alaska Governor Bill Walker has named November “Adoption Awareness Month” and is encouraging all Alaskans to honor adoptive parents and support efforts to provide all children with secure, nurturing, and permanent families.
Anyone interested in learning more about becoming an adoptive parent in Alaska is asked to call the Office of Children’s Services at 1-800-478-7307 or Rep. Gara’s office at (907) 269-0106.