November 19, 2008

State of Alabama
Press Release: Human Resources, Department of

Alabama Celebrates National Adoption Awareness Month

Alabama DHR adoption professionals, advocates, parents, children and others interested in finding forever homes for Alabama’s Waiting Children gathered November 13th at the Levite Jewish Community Center to celebrate National Adoption Awareness Month.

Each partner had a part in the program that included the presentation of two awards by Heart Gallery Alabama Executive Director Michelle Bearman-Wolnek. Arik Sokol was selected as the Photographer of the year, and Suzanne Ashe was presented the Karen Nomberg Volunteer Inspiration Award.

The highlight of the Adoption Month celebration was the retirement of Heart Gallery portraits of Alabama's children who have found forever families during the past year. This year, portraits of Selena, Lorena, Isabella, Jessyca and R.J. were retired.

The purpose of National Adoption Awareness Month is to provide national awareness of the need for adoptive families, to celebrate children and families, and to call our nation to action to ensure safety, permanency and well being for all of our children. It is also a time for spreading awareness to recruit and retain foster and adoptive parents for our nation’s waiting children. This year, efforts have focused particularly on adopting teens from foster care.

There are currently over 6,000 children in foster care in the State of Alabama. Of these children approximately 640 are legally available for adoption. Nearly 380 of these children will be adopted by their current foster parents. However, the remaining 260 are waiting for a forever family to call their own.

Alabama’s Waiting Children cannot live with their birth families due to a history of abuse or neglect. Some have varying degrees of mental, physical or emotional problems. They are all ages and come from all ethnic and economic groups. Other information about these children:

More than 50% are male

More than 60% are of African-American Heritage

More than 60% are over the age of ten.

A photographic exhibit featuring Alabama's Waiting Children is on display in the main hall of the LJCC during the Month of November. Families interested in learning more about adopting from foster care can call 1-866-4AL-Kids (1-866-425-5437) or visit the adoption link on this web site.

To learn more about how you might make a difference in the life of one of these children, please click here

For more information about Heart Gallery Alabama and the National Heart Gallery please visit their web site at

  • For more information, visit
  • For more state-wide press releases, click here