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Local couple recognized as Angels in Adoption

Sen. Amy Klobuchar celebrated Mike and Maureen Gilbertson as 2020 Angels in Adoption honorees for their advocacy for adoption and foster care issues, according to a press release. The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, which coordinates the Angels in Adoption program, honored the Gilbertsons on Sept. 30 in a virtual gala.

The Gilbertsons have been caring for vulnerable children for more than 35 years, according to the release. As foster, adoptive and biological, and former group home parents, they have given dozens of children the loving, safe, secure family every child needs to thrive, the release stated. Most recently, the Gilbertsons adopted six children in 2019, despite being in their 60s.

The Angels in Adoption program is CCAI’s signature public awareness event and provides an annual opportunity for all members of the U.S. Congress to honor the work of their constituents who have enriched the lives of children and families in the United States and abroad, the release stated. This year, more than 95 Angels were honored through the 22nd annual Angels in Adoption program.

“The Angels in Adoption program gives a platform to the families, advocates and experts who so often serve quietly behind the scenes yet make a huge impact on behalf of children and families,” said CCAI Executive Director Nancy Kay Blackwell. “Together with the Adoption Caucus, we are thrilled to shine a light on the extraordinary work of our Angels.”

In addition to the Angel honorees from around the country, CCAI also honors a select number of National Angels in Adoption whose contributions have had a national impact. The 2020 National Angels are Magnolia Earl and family, Gerber’s 2020 and first adopted spokesbaby; Todd Tilghman, adoptive parent and 2020 winner of “The Voice”; Miranda and Luke Caldwell, adoptive parents and stars on HGTV’s “Boise Boys”; and “This Is Us,” an award-winning family drama television show with adoption and foster care storylines. Past National Angels include Muhammad Ali, First Lady Laura Bush, Kristin Chenoweth, Scott Fujita, Deborra-lee Furness, Katherine Heigl and Josh Kelley, Patti LaBelle, Ne-Yo, Rhea Perlman, Shonda Rhimes, Korie and Willie Robertson, Al Roker, Jane Seymour, Sean Anders, Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, Bruce Willis, Nia Vardalos, Bill Klein and Jen Arnold, Scott and Tracie Hamilton, Connie Britton, Rachel Crow, CBS Studios, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” NVIDIA, Hallmark Channel, and People Magazine.

CCAI is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan organization dedicated to raising awareness about children and youth in the United States and around the world in need of permanent, safe and loving homes, the release stated. Founded in 2001 by the co-chairs of the bicameral, bipartisan adoption caucus — the Congressional Coalition on Adoption — CCAI works with the caucus to eliminate policy barriers that hinder children from realizing their basic right of a family and more effectively raise congressional and public awareness about adoption, foster care and child welfare.