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U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., joined with national lawmakers and adoptive families in raising awareness about the importance of adoption by participating in National Adoption Month.

There are more than 400,000 children in foster care in the United States, and 107,000 of these children are waiting to be adopted. Through no fault of their own, these children enter foster care as a result of abuse, neglect and/or abandonment. Each year more than 28,000 children exit the foster care system to live independently, often with no family to support them.

“Many of us know a family or loved ones who have walked through this process in their lives,” said Enzi. “That is why this month is a great opportunity to celebrate those who are a part of the adoption process, and to encourage others to get involved the same way.”

          This year, Saturday, November 19th, 2011 marks the 11th year of celebrating National Adoption Day in this country.

The goals of "National Adoption Day" include:

                        * Finalize adoptions from foster care in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico;

                        * Celebrate and honor all families who adopt;

                        * Raise awareness about the 107,000 children in foster care waiting for adoption;

                        * Encourage others to adopt children from foster care; and

                        * Communicate availability and need for post-adoptive services.

Through "Voice for Adoption," Senator Enzi partnered with the family of one of his staff members in Wyoming for the "Adoptive Family Portrait Project" in an effort to raise awareness and support during National Adoption Month. The family photo of Richard Hawley and their inspirational adoption story will be displayed in Senator Enzi’s office throughout the month of November in honor of celebrating adoptive families during this year’s National Adoption Month.

           To find out more about adoption in Wyoming call the Wyoming Department of Family Services at (307)777-3570.  To learn more about the Adoptive Family Portrait Project, visit: