RIVERSIDE COUNTY CELEBRATES ADOPTION AWARENESS MONTH

Tereska Sears already had three children but she knew she wanted to give 12-year-old Tatiana a home once she heard the girl longed to be part of a family.

On Saturday, the newly expanded Sears family will be among 120 families celebrating their recent adoptions with a free-admissions event at Castle Park in Riverside.

The celebration is part of a month-long effort by the county’s Department of Public Social Services to focus attention on foster care children who need permanent homes. More than 92 children are currently eligible for adoption in Riverside County.

“A loving family can make an incredible difference for these children,” said Sears, who along with her family welcomed Tatiana into their Winchester home. “She is part of our family and we are determined to give her the opportunity to thrive.”

The Sears family first got a glimpse of Tatiana at the Heart Gallery, a traveling portrait exhibit of children throughout the county who need a home. The third annual event will feature 35 children on Nov. 22 at the Moreno Valley Conference and Recreation Center, located at 14075 Frederick St., from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

For the first time, an adoption finalization ceremony will be celebrated on Nov. 15 at the Riverside Historic Courthouse located on 4050 Main St. in Riverside. The special ceremony will include the adoption of 30 children.

For more information about adoption awareness or to participate in the events, call Riverside County Permanency Programs at (951) 358-3555.

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