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Collaboration seeks to find homes for older foster children in Oklahoma

BY DIERDRE MCCOOL Published: September 6, 2013

More than century ago, a group of deaconesses from the Free Methodist Church founded a rescue home in Guthrie for unmarried women and their children. Oklahoma was still Indian Territory, a harsh environment for single women who had to survive on their own. In 1909, the facility relocated to a farm northwest of Oklahoma City. From 1909 to present, that original site evolved into a state-of-the-art medical center, and Deaconess Pregnancy and Adoption Services (DPAS) became an independent, nonprofit agency to keep pace with the ongoing needs of women, children and families.

DPAS has empowered more than 20,000 women with life and parenting skills, resources and support. More than 5,500 children have been given the gift of a family through adoption. DPAS has successfully placed every child who has come through their doors regardless of physical, mental or emotional challenges.

One of eight providers eligible to assist Oklahoma's Department of Human Services in locating permanent families for waiting children, DPAS's commitment now broadens its legacy with older-child placements. Dedicated professionals are ready to help recruit and prepare families for some 350 foster children ages 4 to 17, who are eligible to be adopted.

Deaconess Pregnancy and Adoption Services welcomes this opportunity to work with DHS and looks forward to a great outcome for those who stand on life's sidelines and wait. Their expertise ensures that families receive the individual support, training and guidance that will guide them through the pre- and post-adoption process. Counseling, adoption coaching, frequent in-home visitation and ongoing guidance are available to all families adopting an older child through this program.

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