766 Minnesota kids are waiting to be adopted

State officials will celebrate families formed by adoption and encourage others to adopt at the annual Celebrate Adoption: Circus of the Heart event.

Last year, 868 children were adopted from Minnesota's foster care system. But 766 kids are still waiting for families.

This weekend, the state Department of Human Services and MN ADOPT will celebrate the families formed by adoption and encourage others to adopt foster children at the 20th annual Celebrate Adoption: Circus of the Heart event. 

“During the past two decades, families have adopted thousands of foster children, yet thousands more have come into our foster care system," Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper said in a news release. "We need families – relatives and others – to adopt them, nurture them and love them for a lifetime."

Adoption experts will be on hand at the event to provide information and answer questions for those interested in learning more about adopting children from the foster care system. An adoptive family will also be there to share their insights.

And it's a family-friendly day full of activities, including pony rides, face painting, airbrush tattoos, henna art, fire truck tours, a petting zoo, refreshments and games. Attendees will also have the chance to win prizes as part of a free drawing.

The celebration and information event will take place on Nov. 5, from 1-4 p.m. at Envision Event Center in Oakdale.

Minnesota adoption statistics

During the past 20 years, 12,509 Minnesota foster children have been adopted, the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) says.

Of those children:

  • 87 percent were birth to 11 years old; the other 13 percent were 12 and older.
  • 56 percent were white, 21 percent were African-American, 15 percent were two or more races, 5 percent were American Indian, 2 percent were unknown or declined to identify, 1 percent were Asian Pacific Islander, and 9 percent identified as Hispanic.
  • 53 percent were part of sibling groups adopted together.

While the number of children adopted last year was the highest in the past two decades, the DHS says the number of kids coming into the foster care system is increasing, and more children are available for adoption every year.

Of the 766 Minnesota kids who currently need adoptive homes:

  • 67 percent are children of color.
  • 61 percent are siblings who need to be adopted together.
  • 30 percent are between 12 and 18 years old.

“Children in the foster care system have been traumatized. The more we can do to stabilize their lives and provide them with consistency, including becoming a permanent part of relatives’ or other families, when it is not safe for them to return home, the better off they will be," Piper said.

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