Missouri Governor Mike Parson has signed a proclamation designating November 2021, as Adoption Awareness Month in Missouri to encourage all Missourians to educate themselves regarding the need for adoptive families and support adoptive parents in their communities.

State statute, regulation, and/or agency policy prohibits discrimination in foster care based on sexual orientation, according to Family Equality.

“As we enter the holiday season and Missourians prepare to enjoy quality time with their friends, family, and loved ones, we are reminded of the need to support the children in our state that may lack a stable home or loving family,” Governor Parson said. “Every child needs and deserves to be loved and cared for by a family of their own. This November, during Adoption Awareness Month, we encourage Missourians to consider adoption and to always support adoptive families. We must open our hearts, our homes, and our lives to these special children that ask only for a family.”

Nearly 1,600 children and youth are currently waiting and hoping to find forever homes with loving families. The Missouri Adoption Heart Gallery features profiles of some of these amazing children and youth and one Missouri family has shared their own personal adoption story.

“We appreciate all of the adoptive families who offer a loving home and a foundation of support to allow children to grow and thrive,” said Robert J. Knodell, Acting Director of the Department of Social Services. “Every child deserves a safe, permanent place to call home. There is always a need for additional adoptive families in Missouri to help ensure more children have this opportunity.”

You could potentially become an adoptive parent if you:

  • Are at least 21 years of age
  • Complete a child abuse/neglect check and criminal record check including fingerprints
  • Are in good health, both physically and mentally
  • Have a stable income
  • Are willing to participate in and complete a free training and assessment process
  • Are willing to voice perspectives and concerns as part of a professional team

The Department of Social Services (DSS) encourages any Missourian interested in adoption to visit the DSS website, contact their local Children's Division office, or email Moheartgallery@raisethefuture.orgfor more detailed information on Missouri’s adoption process.

To view the proclamation, click here.

In this Q&A, we hear from Alan and Carlos McMillian on what it means to be fathers of a 12-year-old son, Julian, whom they adopted from Arizona’s foster care system.

Alan and Carlos started their journey to fatherhood in 2015 by first opening their home to children in foster care, making the most of these short-term parenting opportunities. Wanting to grow their family permanently, they decided to volunteer at a Children’s Heart Gallery event in 2018.

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Scott Markley and John Bledsoe, partners for more than 10 years, are currently in the process of adopting a child after years of considering their different options. In this deeply moving account, Markley discusses the complexities of this life-changing decision and the challenges they face as gay men seeking to become parents.

By Scott Markley

Adoption is a test of love, faith, finances and patience. Choosing to adopt a child is a life altering decision for any couple. Being a same-sex couple adds unique challenges to an already complex process. Our decision to adopt took many years to come to. Adoption, specifically same-sex adoption, is more prevalent than ever before. Now, more than ever, society is beginning to understand that a family can be defined in many different ways.

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