Event debuts photos of Michigan children awaiting adoption and features information about adoption - Judson Center

Event debuts photos of Michigan children awaiting adoption and features information about adoption

LANSING, Mich. – The 2021 Michigan Heart Gallery featuring a photographic exhibit of 79 Michigan children in foster care who are seeking forever families through adoption will be unveiled Sept. 18 at Emagine Theater in Royal Oak.

This grand opening will launch the annual statewide photographic tour showcasing many of Michigan’s youth awaiting adoption from foster care.

The Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE), a program of the Judson Center, organizes the exhibit for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). Fifty professional photographers from throughout the state donated their time and talents to make the 2021 Heart Gallery possible.

The grand opening is from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the theater, 200 N. Main St., Royal Oak. The event is open to the public, but attendees are asked to register in advance by visiting www.mare.org or calling 800-589-6273.

In Michigan, more than 2,000 children in foster care have a goal of adoption and more than 200 of them do not have an identified adoptive family.

“MDHHS believes that children in foster care deserve loving, permanent homes,” said Demetrius Starling, executive director of the department’s Children’s Services Agency. “The Heart Gallery provides an opportunity for adoption supporters – including people who are considering adopting a child – to learn the unique stories of children who are waiting for adoptive homes.”

Guest speakers will include Starling and Lenora Hardy-Foster, CEO of Judson Center.

Festivities will include a video on the big screen highlighting youth who need adoptive families followed by a luncheon reception and gallery viewing.

“The 2021 Heart Gallery Grand Opening strives to raise awareness for adoption of older youth,” said MARE Program Manager Michelle Parra. “This is a great event to learn about adoption through foster care.”

To learn more about the Michigan Heart Gallery, visit www.miheart.org or call 800-589-6273.

MARE is an information and referral service for prospective adoptive parents interested in adopting children from foster care and for adoption workers looking for homes for these children. The MARE website, www.mare.org, includes biographies of children who are available for adoption and lists additional events occurring throughout the state in the upcoming year.