National Adoption Month

November is known as National Adoption Month. A time to recognize, highlight, and bring awareness about the urgent need for permanent families for children and youth in the U.S. foster care system. There are currently over 123,000 children waiting to be adopted from foster care in the United States. More than 60% of children in foster care spend 2-5 years before being adopted. Some never get adopted.

The adoption symbol, a triangle intertwined with a heart, is a symbol used for both international and domestic adoptions. The adoptive family, adoptee, and birth family each represent one side of the triangle, and the heart intertwining each side of the triangle symbolizes the love that is involved in an adoption.

“This year's National Adoption Month theme is "Youth Voices: Why Family Matters." It is well known that teenagers are less likely to be adopted, often because of their age, and are much more likely to age out of foster care without strong or stable family support. Securing lifelong connections for teens in foster care, both legally and emotionally, is a critical component in determining their future achievement, health, and well-being.”

The history of National Adoption month began in 1976 when Michael Dukakis, Massachusetts Governor, announced an Adoption Week to promote awareness for the need of adoptive families. Then in 1984, President Reagan proclaimed the first National Adoption Week.

By 1995 President Clinton expanded the awareness week into the entire month of November. Three years later, Clinton directed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop a plan to expand the use of the internet as a tool to find homes for children waiting to be adopted.