Local group and area leaders met for the 13th annual adoption awareness celebration.
The governor declared the need in Louisiana for adoptive families, and today, Mayor Jamie Mayo declared November as Adoption Awareness Month for the City of Monroe.
Special guests told real-life stories of adoption and organizers set up the Heart Gallery, which featured photos of children in need of a permanent home.
"These children are free for adoption through no fault of their own," said Marsha Linam, Area Director of Adoptions and Home Development. "They've just come from different circumstances and their basic need is a need for a home, to be loved, accepted and have some support in this world."
After the ceremony, the crowd gathered outside to release dozens of balloons. Each balloon represents the children adopted this year and those awaiting a forever family in the Monroe area.
Anyone interested in adopting or fostering can call Monroe Region Department of Children and Family Services, 318-362-3362.