D S S   P R E S S   R E L E A S E

For Immediate Release:
August 20, 2007

Contact: Sara Anderson
(573) 526-0407

Farmington – Missouri’s second annual traveling Adoption Heart Gallery which features photos of children awaiting adoption will be on display in Farmington beginning today at the Farmington Community Civic Center at 2 Black Knight Drive. The gallery, which began its tour throughout the state in May, will be on exhibit in Farmington until August 26, 2007.

“The Adoption Heart Gallery has proven to be a successful tool for finding safe, permanent and loving homes for children in our state,” Children’s Division Director Paula Neese said. “I encourage the residents of Farmington to visit the gallery while it is in their area and open their hearts to the possibility of adoption.”

This is the second year for the Heart Gallery in Missouri. Twenty-seven children featured in the 63 photos in last year’s gallery found potential adoptive homes. The number of inquiries regarding foster care and adoption increased by more than 200 percent as a result of last year’s gallery. The current gallery features 168 photos and will be displayed in 23 venues across the state.

The Children’s Division of the Department of Social Services partners with the private Adoption Exchange-Missouri to host the gallery. The gallery concept began in New Mexico several years ago and has spread to several states as it has proven to be a very successful recruitment tool.

“The Children’s Division and Adoption Exchange have worked many hours to bring the Heart Gallery to every region of the state so that the need for forever families for these children is made known through the artistic skill of Missouri’s professional photographers. I thank all who played a role in this event for their hard work and congratulate them on their success,” Neese said.

The photos of the children in the Heart Gallery were taken by professional photographers who donated their time and talent to create photos that depict the personality and spirit of each child. 

Farmington is the ninth stop on the Heart Gallery’s state tour.  Since the premier in Kansas City in May it has been on display in Arnold, Festus, St. Joseph, Columbia, Springfield, Joplin and Cape Girardeau. The full schedule of stops can be found at http://www.dss.mo.gov.

source URL: http://www.dss.mo.gov/press/2007/082007.htm

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