Event encourages more Minnesotans to adopt

Women in black jackets and sweaters
Attendees are seen placing paint on a spin art machine, one of several free activities at the "Circus of the Heart" event celebrating adoption on Saturday Nov. 4, 2023.
Aaliyah Demry | MPR News

Families across Minnesota came together Saturday to celebrate adoption while advocating the need for more people to get involved.

The Minnesota Department Of Human Services hosted its 26th annual “Circus Of The Heart” event at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

Hundreds of blended families participated in games and art activities. DHS also held a presentation for adults interested in learning more about the adoption and kinship care process.

“I’m just so proud of Minnesota; it’s a state that always embraced adoption and now kinship care and I think the state population is very open to that and has been really welcoming,” Commissioner Jodi Harpstead said. “And we’re just so proud of folks that step up to be forever families to the kids that really need them.”

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Harpstead said 1,006 children were adopted from foster care in 2022 and another 637 children were placed in the care of a relative.

children hold balloons
Becky and Joe Puchtel stand with their two children, who they adopted from foster care. They were part of the hundreds of people who attended the "Circus of the Heart" event on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2024.
Aaliyah Demry | MPR News

Becky Puchtel fostered and adopted two children. She said being at this event lets her family know that they're not alone.

“We love coming, we love seeing all the different families,” Puchtel said. “I think it’s really good for them to see that they are not the only ones, so they see other kids and you know non-matching families and they get to be around other people that are experiencing the same things.”

DHS reports that there are more than 500 children waiting to be adopted. If you are interested and want to learn more you can visit www.fosteradoptmn.org.