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  The Waiting Child media campaign  

Merri Dee, Moderator

"The Waiting Child"

The Waiting Child is a cooperative effort of "Super Station" WGN-TV Chicago, the Department of Children and Family Services and the Adoption Information Center of Illinois. The national award-winning adoption media campaign airs weekly on WGN-TV, and has been instrumental in recruiting hundreds of adoptive homes for children in the care of the Department.

Moderated by its originator, Merri Dee, "The Waiting Child" media campaign is built around two-minute public service announcements that advocate adoption. Each announcement opens with an on-camera appearance of Dee offering poignant commentary on the need for foster and adoptive families, as well as an insight into the rewards of adoptive and foster parenting. Each announcement continues with a cameo profile of at least one child waiting to be adopted. The announcements close with Dee providing information on how to apply to become an adoptive or foster parent.

In 2001, Merri Dee, WGN-TV's Director of Community Relations, was among 14 individuals and organizations recognized by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson for excellence in promoting adoptions of waiting foster children. Dee received an Adoption 2002 Excellence Award in the category of Individual and/or Family Contributions. The Waiting Child media campaign has reached an estimated 55 million viewers each week for more than a decade and generated more than 8,000 calls to the Adoption Information Center of Illinois. Approximately 40 percent of adoptable children highlighted in the segments have been adopted.

The Waiting Child can be seen during the following times: Monday through Thursday at 1:30 a.m., 4:30 a.m., 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.; Friday at 1:30 a.m., 4:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.; and, Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 a.m., 4:30 a.m., 6 a.m. and 11 a.m..Additional Information is available:



Meet Whitney...
Whitney, age 12, is an outgoing, expressive girl who likes to sing and dance. She is especially inspired by gospel music. In addition to her creative gifts, Whitney has good athletic abilities and enjoys swimming and bike riding. She also takes pride in her appearance and likes to have her hair and nails nicely done.

What Others Say about Whitney...
Her teachers and foster parents said that Whitney does a good job of communicating her feelings. She likes to relax by watching TV and going to movies.

What You Can Do for Whitney...
You can encourage her to pursue her creative interests. You can provide her with a safe and stable home. Whitney would like to remain in contact with her brothers and sisters, whom she loves very much.

If you are interested in adopting Whitney, or learning about other children waiting to be adopted, please call the Adoption Information Center of Illinois at 1-800-572-2390; TDD/TDY - 1-800-401-7740; or see the AICI web site:

Adoption Links

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Midwest Adoption Center (outside link)
Illinois Putative Father Registry (outside link)
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