WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) will honor Orange County's Nightlight Christian Adoptions at its 2004 Angels in Adoptions(tm) awards ceremony on Thursday, September 23, 2004 in Washington, D.C. Nightlight Christian Adoptions was selected by U.S. Representative Edward R. Royce to be one of 175 honorees from across the nation for their work to improve the lives of foster care children and orphans as well as for their groundbreaking embryo-adoption "Snowflakes Program."

"Nightlight is truly honored to receive the Angels in Adoptions Award," said Ronald L. Stoddart, executive director of Nightlight Christian Adoptions, upon learning of the award. "Our desire at Nightlight Christian Adoptions has always been to help children find the best possible families. Since 1959, we have been helping children domestically and internationally find the love and security that comes from having a family of their own."

In addition to Nightlight Christian Adoptions, CCAI will also honor actress Jane Seymour, PGA golfer Kirk Triplett and his wife Cathi, and Vice President of the Orlando Magic, Pat Williams and his wife Ruth as the 2004 National Angels in Adoption(tm).

Stoddart also explained how Nightlight Christian Adoptions has met a new need in society through its embryo adoption program. "Through our Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program, which started in 1997, Nightlight has given infertile couples the hope of a baby of their own and helped genetic couples who have embryos remaining after they have finished their in-vitro fertilization and do not wish to add further to their families, donate the eggs." The organization has also found a use for the embryos that are in frozen storage around the country (estimated at over 400,000). To date, 58 babies have been born through the Snowflakes Program.

Before Nightlight's Snowflakes Program, the only options that IVF clinics made available to genetic parents for their remaining embryos were anonymous donation, medical research and destruction. The Snowflakes Program offers a much better option for the genetic parents, the embryos, and of course the adopting parents who now have the hope for a child.

One Snowflake mother, Courtney Atnip, said about the Snowflakes Program, "Several years ago we learned about the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program and Nightlight Christian Adoptions. Through this program, I was able to experience pregnancy. Our dream of a child of our own was finally realized with the blessing of the birth of our son Carter in September 2003. We could not be more appreciative of the work Nightlight is doing to pair embryos that need homes with parents whose arms are empty."

Nightlight Christian Adoptions is one of ten agencies that serve on the Orange County Public Relations Society of America's (OC-PRSA) Foster Care and Adoption PR Partnership. This collaboration was created to heighten awareness and understanding of the critical need for foster care and adoptive families in Orange County. More information about the OC-PRSA Foster Care and Adoption PR Partnership can be found at www.oc-prsa.org or by calling Keri Gee Barnett at (714) 377-1229.

EDITOR'S NOTE: CCAI is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising congressional and public awareness about the tens of thousands of foster children in this country and the millions of orphans around the world in need of permanent, safe, and loving homes; and to eliminate the barriers that hinder these children from realizing their need for a family. Additionally, National Angels in Adoption(tm) are selected for raising awareness about children in need on a national level. Since the program's inception in 1999, members of Congress have awarded over 550 congressional Angels in Adoption(tm) from all 50 states. This year more than one hundred and seventy-five members of Congress have participated, including U.S. Representative Edward R.Royce. The main event sponsors are the Freddie Mac Foundation and the Target Corporation.

Kathryn Deiter
(714) 278-1020