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Alaska celebrates Adoption Day


Events in Anchorage and Fairbanks celebrate children finding "forever families"

To celebrate Adoption Awareness Month in Alaska this year, Alaska families will finalize adoptions for 34 children Thursday, Nov. 19. One Alaska family, which has already adopted several children, will adopt again on this important day. The family will also be honored for the national award they received recently.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services invites Alaska media to a celebration of adoption. We hope the event encourages other caring families to provide permanent homes for the hundreds of other Alaska children waiting for a family to call their own. Ceremonies will feature local dignitaries and adoptive families and youth. Light refreshments will be served. Similar events are happening around the state and country during November.

WHAT: Adoption Day Celebrations in Anchorage and Fairbanks
WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009

TIME: 12:30 p.m. Media are welcome. Foster children will be present and confidentiality laws barring any photography of them must be considered. Sarana Schell will assist media in arranging interviews.
WHERE: First Baptist Church, 1100 W. 10th Ave.
WHO: Cindy Sims from Gov. Sean Parnell's office, DHSS Commissioner Bill Hogan, OCS Director Tammy Sandoval, Judge Sharon Gleason, Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan (tentative), Tiffany Zulkosky of Sen. Mark Begich's office, adoptive families and others.

TIME: 1-2 p.m.
WHERE: Rabinowitz Court House, 101 Lacey St.
WHO: Superior Court Presiding Judge Douglas L. Blankenship will kick off the festivities, followed by community members sharing personal adoption stories. Approximately seven adoptions will be finalized from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Other Adoption Month events around Alaska:

Kenai - A panel discussion of adoption experiences is scheduled to run 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, in the Central Peninsula Hospital Conference Room. For details, contact Bobbi O'Neill, Office of Children's Services, (907) 283-3136.

Wasilla - An Adoption Information Fair and Celebration was held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7 at the Wasilla Sports Complex. A celebration luncheon ran 12:30 to 2 p.m. Events throughout the day included adoption videos, workshops and panels for foster and adoptive parents and an opportunity for adoptive families to bring photos and create lifebooks. There was also a silent auction fundraiser for children in foster care.
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