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DCFS Secretary Marketa Walters speaks during a press conference Sept. 7.

At Thanksgiving, America’s family holiday above all others, the gift of adoptions for children is a matter of celebration.

Through the essential and sometimes very difficult work of the Department of Children and Family Services, kids who need help can get it, through a foster care system that the department is constantly seeking to improve.

Prevention, as DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters says, can keep families together, but for those in foster care, adoption is the outcome toward which the agency works.

So an annual highlight of their work is adoption from foster care. Louisiana’s first lady, Donna Edwards, hosted the virtual celebration at Thanksgiving this year of 470 families adopting 612 children and teens into their “forever” families.

That’s a remarkable result, given the disruptions in American lives over the past couple of years. DCFS praised the work of its Covington office for making possible 154 adoptions.

At the same time, the U.S. Congress’ Coalition on Adoption recognized among its “Angel” awards St. Elizabeth Foundation of Baton Rouge, nominated by the area’s congressman, Garret Graves.

Since 1988, the agency has placed more than 600 babies in forever homes because of support from its donors.

Thanksgiving is not an entirely American holiday — our cousins in Canada had theirs last month — but its focus on family and fellowship makes this the season to celebrate these newly expanded families, and the new horizons for the young people given another start in their lives.