November is National Adoption Month.

At my organization, Lutheran Services in Iowa, we take this time to celebrate the families who create bright futures for children in need of adoptive forever homes.

But this year, we also want to spend this month raising awareness for the 780 Iowa children waiting to be adopted.

The last year and a half has been challenging for all of us, but it has been especially difficult for the children who have experienced the uncertainty that comes with being removed from their home and family of origin.

In 2020, 3,936 children entered foster care in Iowa.

And while the goal of foster care is always to safely reunify children with their family of origin whenever possible, adoptive families are sometimes needed when children are unable to return home.

Last year, 1,172 of those children needed to be adopted out of foster care.

There is an urgent need for more families to become licensed adoptive parents and ensure these children have the safe home environments and strong family support system they need to thrive.

You can make a difference for the Iowa children, teens and sibling groups who are waiting for forever homes.

If you or someone you know has ever considered become an adoptive parent, the need has never been greater.

Western Iowa has a growing need for more adoptive parents of all ethnicities, sexual orientations and backgrounds.

Adoptive families can come from all walks of life, but they all share the commitment and passion for providing hope and healing to the Iowa children who are counting on them.

To learn more about how you can make a difference, visit to get started.

Dawn Luetje is the director of LSI Foster Care and Adoption, which recruits, licenses, and supports foster and adoptive families across 30 western Iowa counties. LSI is based in Des Moines. She may be reached at