Foster Care and Adoption

Posted by Janette on 03/01/2014

February 2014

Imagine for a moment how important family is to you. Parents, siblings, extended family; holidays spent together; birthdays celebrated; family trips taken and memories made.

In Oklahoma - and for the most part, across America - we pride ourselves on the value of family life, but too many of our children and youth have never known what being part of a family is really all about. Through no fault of their own, they have lived in foster care most of their lives and continue to wait for an adoptive family they can call their own.

The clock is ticking on hundreds of children who are legally eligible for adoption in Oklahoma. Once they turn 18, they enter adulthood with no permanent family connection. As they age, their chances for adoption decrease dramatically.  

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services - DHS - partners with several private organizations who help connect adoption-eligible children and youth with permanent families. There is a critical need for foster and adoptive families in our state, especially for teens, sibling groups, and children with special medical needs.

Dierdre McCool and Deborah Smith
Our first two guests know about the challenges and the joys of foster care and adoption: Deborah Smith is the Director of Child Welfare Services for DHS and Dierdre McCool is the Executive Director of Deaconess Pregnancy and Adoption Services.
Information at

Ambrasha Parsons, Gerry Bonds and Angela Parsons
Angela Parsons
 and her husband are devoted parents to six children, four of whom are adopted. Their son was adopted as an infant and the three daughters are sisters, adopted as a sibling group through DHS ten years ago. Angela and her adopted daughter, Ambrasha, took the time to share their story with us; it is compelling and honest and Ambrasha is articulate and mature beyond her years.
Information at

I don't normally quote Bruce Willis, but he has a pretty succinct message about adopting children. He said, “Be a hero – take the time to learn about adoption today.”  

If you would like more information about how to become a foster or adoptive parent, please calls the DHS Foster Care and Adoption Families Recruiting Hotline at 866-612-2565 or visit

-Debra Martin, Producer-

Support for The Living Room with Gerry Bonds is provided by Cole and Reed PC - providing audit and assurance, tax planning and compliance, consulting and accounting services.  Cole and Reed:  adding more because you deserve more.  Information at 

More Photos of Program 306 - February 2014  

Foster Care and Adoption (February 2014 - Program 306)
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