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Sue and Jyoti Barnhart

"My parents expected to adopt, but then they had four kids," says Sue Barnhart, who helped raise her three younger brothers. With degrees in education and counseling, Barnhart taught in a high school program for pregnant teens and young mothers in Connecticut, then followed one of her brothers to Eugene in 1985 and began a career in social work. This month she marks 19 years with Lane County Developmental Disabilities Services. "In my 30s, I wanted kids but didn't have a partner," she says. "In my 40s, I decided adoption was the way to go." In the year it took for paperwork, she found a partner in Michael Carrigan, who traveled with her to pick up one-year-old Jyoti from an orphanage in India. Once active on social justice issues, Barnhart now devotes her spare time to volunteering at the Family School, where Jyoti is in fourth grade, and as secretary of Adoption Connections of Oregon. This Saturday, November 10, ACO will hold it's 6th Annual Adoption Conference, free and open to the public, at Holt International Children's Services. For details, call ACO president Elise Crum at 345-4209.


happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 8 November 2007

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