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The following post comes from Lane Barker, executive director of Devereux Arizona and a member of HRC’s All Children – All Families NationalAdvisoryCouncil. Devereux Arizona is recognized as a “Leader in Supporting and Serving LGBT Families.”

November was officially designated as National Adoption Month by President Clinton in 1995.  That year, there were 5,000 Arizona children placed in out-of-home care.  Today, that number fast approaches 15,000.   Each day, more children enter the system than exit.  They live in shelters, group homes, residential treatment centers and foster homes.  Some live with relatives.  All want, need and deserve a place to call home.  “Permanency” is a word often used to describe the case plan for kids who have experienced multiple “placements” in their young lives.  They have been shuffled from place to place, always hoping that the next family will be the one that wants to keep them.  Imagine the impact of disappointment.  Imagine the joy in success.

In collaboration with HRC, we’re holding two events this month to raise awareness of the need for homes and educate our communities about foster care and adoption in Arizona, specifically the rights of LGBT individuals and couples. 

The first, Saturday, November 16, will be held in Tucson at Wingspan’s community center, 430 E. 7th Street.  The second, Saturday November 23, will be held at the Halle Heart Children’s Museum in Tempe, 2929 S. 48th Street.  Both events are slated for 10:00 a.m. to noon  and include a light breakfast and brief presentations followed by Q & A sessions.   Devereux staff will also be available to talk individually with anyone who wants to discuss their personal situation.

Please help us celebrate National Adoption Month.  Talk to your neighbors, friends and colleagues about the tremendous need in our state.  Urge them to attend this event or contact Devereux directly for information about becoming a foster and/or adoptive parent.  Help them take the first step in helping a child who has searched his “whole life” for a forever family.  We owe it to every one of the 15,000. 

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