Thousands of children across the country are in need of families, including 122,000 who are at risk of aging out of foster care. Adoption Awareness Month, which takes place every November, was started to raise awareness about the urgent need for adoptive families and dispel myths about adoption.
“Adoption is about more than providing a home. It’s about providing a permanent sense of place and belonging, and the security of knowing that no matter what life throws at you, these people – your family – will have your back,” says Marketa Garner Walters, Department of Children & Family Services.
Approximately 135,000 children are adopted every year in the United States, and currently about two percent of the U.S. child population is adopted, either from foster care or through private domestic or international adoption.
- 59 percent come from the foster system
- 26 percent come from other countries
- 15 percent are voluntarily relinquished American babies
What is National Adoption Month?
National Adoption Month is exactly what it sounds like – a month to bring adoption to the forefront.
- To educate others about the adoption process
- To bring awareness to the need for more adoptive families, especially for teens
- To celebrate the amazing families that have already grown through adoption
- To hold adoption related events and raise funds to support children in foster care
- To advocate for the wellbeing and future of children in foster care
- To acknowledge the people throughout the country whose lives have been impacted by adoption
- To recruit volunteers to help support children in the foster care system
- To honor the people who have made a difference in the lives of children across the country
- To support those involved in the system (adoption agencies, foster care organizations and families, counselors, volunteers, and so many more)
In a nutshell, Adoption Awareness Month is designed to shine a spotlight on adoption. Throughout November, individuals, families, businesses, private and public organizations, adoption agencies, and communities celebrate adoption and encourage it as a positive way to grow families.
This year’s National Adoption Month theme is “Conversations Matter.”
The History of Adoption Awareness Month
Former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis proclaimed the first week of November “Adoption Week” in 1976. Then, in 1984, President Ronald Reagan issued Proclamation 5280, which established a National Adoption Week. However, a week just wasn’t enough. So in 1995, President Bill Clinton declared November National Adoption Awareness Month.
“As we celebrate National Adoption Month, Americans can take pride in the progress we’re making — but we know there is much more work to be done,” stated President Clinton. “We want to reform our nation’s whole approach to this profoundly important issue, to make the system work better for the children and the families it should be serving.”
The establishment of Adoption Awareness Month was an important step in the right direction. However, we still have a long way to go to erase the negative stigma surrounding adoption in the media and pop culture, as well as helping to find permanent, loving families for infants and foster children everywhere.
While just about two percent of Americans have adopted a child, ⅓ have considered adoption.
Are You Considering Adoption?
“Choosing to adopt a child is a big decision and is a beautiful way to create or add to a family,” writes Elaine Schulte, MD, MPH, FAAP.
If you are actively considering adoption or even if you just want to learn more about the process, we encourage you to contact one of our adoption counselors. Call us at (410) 683-2100.
The professionals at Adoption Makes Family have many years of experience in adoption services, helping couples and singles explore their options for creating or growing their family. We are a non-profit (501-C3) licensed adoption agency based in Maryland.
If you have any questions, you can contact us by phone at 410-683-2100, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or use our online contact form.
- “Adoption Statistics.” Adoption Network, adoptionnetwork.com/adoption-statistics.
- Doughty, Halen. “DCFS hosts events during Adoption Awareness Month.” Donaldsonville Chief, Donaldsonville Chief, www.donaldsonvillechief.com/news/20171113/dcfs-hosts-events-during-adoption-awareness-month.
- Gates, Gary J., et al. “Adoption and Foster Care by Lesbian and Gay Parents in the United States.” PsycEXTRA Dataset, doi:10.1037/e690872011-001.
- “National Adoption Awareness Month.” Voice for Adoption, 7 Nov. 2017, www.voice-for-adoption.org/whats-new/national-adoption-awareness-month.