November Is Adoption Awareness Month: What Should You Know?
Navigating the American Foster Care System
Did you know that less than 1/3 of adoptions occur within the first two years of a child entering the foster care system? And each year, 23,000 children age out of the foster care system in the US.
There are currently more than 400,000 children in the American foster care system. As this number increases, there becomes an even greater need for loving foster parents to step forward.
November is Adoption Awareness Month, and this is a beautiful time to learn about adoption and adoption services. We also acknowledge all the lives that have been impacted by adoption.
Continue reading if you're interested to know more about this event and the fostering and adoption process.
November Is Adoption Awareness Month
In 1976, the governor of Massachusetts, Mike Dukakis, wanted to raise awareness about the state's growing number of foster children. Hoping to promote more adoptive families, Dukakis proclaimed the first week of November 'Adoption Week.'
Eight years later, President Ronald Reagan made 'Adoption Week' a national event. And in the year 1995, President Bill Clinton extended the week-long event to one month and proclaimed November as the national adoption month.
You can find many events happening all over the country, including adopting child events, adoption storytelling from birth families, and hearing adoption stories from children waiting and loving families' success testimonies.
Why Should I Celebrate Adoption Awareness Month?
This annual event is a fantastic opportunity to shine the spotlight on adoption. Now is the ideal time to spread awareness about adoption and the foster care system.
The system is home to an increasing number of foster youth and young people. These children live in foster homes in the United States and our child welfare system, but they're not finding permanency with birth parents or adoptive parents.
The event is also a chance to celebrate the families united by adoption and the children still waiting to find their forever homes. We also take this opportunity to honor the birth parents and their difficult decisions.
How Can I Participate?
Everyone is welcome to get involved, and there are countless ways to participate.
Begin by reading more about the incredible adoption process. Consider sharing information among your family members and friends. You can attend events in honor of Adoption Awareness Month and volunteer at a local foster care organization.
Donate money to an adoption charity or see where you can donate used clothes and toys for foster parents and children in your local area.
How Can I Participate if I'm Interested to Adopt?
It's beautiful that you are considering adoption, and there are plenty of things you can do this National Adoption Month.
- Contact someone you know who has adopted or fostered a child to learn more about their experience.
- Whether online or in person, look to join a support group for potential adoptive and foster parents.
- Consider starting a blog about your journey toward adoption.
- Start an adoption photo album or journal that can one day be shared with your future child.
- Seek out books concerning adoption plans and parenting.
- Attend an Adoption Awareness Month event in your area.
Prospective parents may feel a wide range of emotions, such as fear, excitement, and anxiety. If your heart guides you, November is a fantastic time to dive deeper into the fulfilling world of adoption and foster care.
If you are interested in becoming a foster or adoptive parent, fill out this simple form on our website, and we'll get in touch with you.
Different Types of Adoption
Adoption can happen in many ways, usually depending on what the birth mother feels comfortable with. Every child and situation is unique, but there are two main types of adoption: closed and open.
These terms describe the level of communication between the birth mother and the adoptive parents. Both types have their pros and cons.
In the past, closed adoption was the norm, but now it is much rarer. In this adoption framework, there is zero contact between the adoptive family and the birth parents.
Adopted children know nothing about their birth parents and cannot contact them. This can lead to children struggling with self-esteem and identity as they grow up.
Nowadays, open adoption is far more common. The contact and identifying information of the birth mother and the adoptive parents are shared openly.
There are many ways to manage this relationship. The adoption agency can facilitate contact, or the parents can communicate directly. Regardless, the special moments of the child's life can be shared with the adoptive family and the birth mother. It creates space for a vaster support system for the child.
Browse this article if you're interested in the beautiful ways fostering children can change your life.
What if I'm Unable to Adopt or Foster to Adopt?
Perhaps you're not yet ready to adopt or want to take more of a supporting role. Well, your help is invaluable too.
You can mentor a child aging out of foster care or reach out to others who need support, such as parents in the process of adopting.
Or, consider making yourself available as a respite caregiver. Respite care involves the short-term care of a child, allowing the regular caregiver to take a break.
If you cannot get hands-on right now, there is the undeniable power of sharing on social media. Expose friends and family to positive adoption articles or blogs. This can make a big difference and encourage people you love to explore the uplifting world of foster parenting and adoption.
Be The Light
Anything you can do to shed light on adoption and foster care is incredible. The ramifications are potentially helping a child to find a loving home.
November is Adoption Awareness Month; there's no better time to get involved.
Look at high-quality articles on our blog to learn more about adoption.Top Questions From Aspiring Foster Parents: What To Know How To Volunteer and Support Foster Kids