A&M International Helps Celebrate National Adoption Month

National Adoption Month will be recognized with a special celebration hosted by Texas A&M International University president Dr. Charles Jennett and Linda Jennett on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m.

The reception will take place in the University's Great Room in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library.

Sandra Juarez, Child Protective Services Supervisor of the local office of the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services (PRS) said the celebration will serve to recognize the efforts of foster and adoptive parents in providing homes for children in need.

"November is National Adoption Month and we appreciate the University's support of our efforts and our ongoing campaign to identify more adoptive or foster parents. This is also a special opportunity for us to recognize the wonderful local families who have built their families through adoption," Juarez said.

University president Jennett said that with Laredo's rapid growth, there is a parallel need for additional foster and adoptive parents.

"Here at the University, we're keenly aware of the city's rapid growth. From 1990 to 1997, there has been a 37.5% increase in population here. This phenomenal growth extends to a dramatic increase in the need for adoptive and foster parents and we encourage all Laredoans to consider helping to provide for these childrens' needs," Dr. Jennett said.

The University has provided its employees with information on the need for foster and adoptive parents through internal human resources newsletters, payroll information inserts and literature displays, he noted.

The reception will be attended by a number of local dignitaries and agency representatives. Highlighting the evening will be the recognition of foster and adoptive parents attending, some of whom will bring their children. Refreshments will be served.

The PRS carries out federal and state laws to protect children from abuse and neglect. If children are in imminent danger, PRS removes them from the custody of birth parents, temporarily placing them with foster families while working with birth families to ensure the children's safety in their own homes.

The goal is to reunite children with their birth families when the risk in the home can be controlled. If children cannot return home safely, the agency makes permanent plans for placing them with relatives, in adoptive homes, or other permanent care situations.

For more information, contact the local PRS office at 728-7383. The office is located at 1500 North Arkansas.

Information on statewide adoption and foster care is also available by calling the Inquiry Line at 1-800-233-3405 or visiting the Web site at www.tdprs.state.tx.us.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu