In honor of National Adoption Month, we have put together all of the information you need to know. Read on to learn why this month is special, who this month celebrates, what this month’s purpose is, and most importantly, how you can get involved.
What is National Adoption Month?
National Adoption Month is about spreading awareness. It is a month to encourage others to learn about adoption, to hold adoption related events, and to acknowledge the people in this country whose lives have been impacted by adoption. The mission of National Adoption Month is to celebrate the families who have grown through adoption, and to recognize the many children who are still waiting for forever families.
Every year National Adoption Month has a theme supporting a particular initiative. For 2015, the theme is “We Never Outgrow the Need for Family,” which relates to the large number of older children in foster care who, due to their age, may be less likely to be adopted, but are more than deserving of loving families.
When did National Adoption Month start?
In the United States, the first major adoption related effort occurred in 1976 in the state of Massachusetts. Then-Governor Mike Dukakis proclaimed the first week of November “Adoption Week,” to promote the need for more adoptive families to care for the large number of children in the foster care system. In 1984 President Gerald R. Ford made the Adoption Week a national event.
By 1998 the week had become so widely recognized there were too many events to fit into seven days. President Bill Clinton extended the week long event into National Adoption Month, which is what we celebrate today.
Who celebrates National Adoption Month?
During National Adoption Month, individual people, families, businesses, private and public organizations, communities, states, and the government all celebrate adoption, and encourage it as a positive way to grow families.
Across the country, events and observances like volunteer recruitment, recognition dinners, fundraising drives, community activities, and other special occurrences take place. These events highlight the month’s mission, spread awareness, honor people who have made a difference, and support those involved with the system.
National Adoption Day also occurs during National Adoption Month. Typically held on a Saturday, National Adoption Day is observed across the country in court hearings, where thousands of adoptions are finalized simultaneously.
Why do we celebrate National Adoption Month?
Overall, we celebrate National Adoption Month to shine a national spotlight light on adoption. More specifically, we celebrate to:
- Honor families that have grown through adoption.
- Recognize the hundreds of thousands of children waiting for permanent families.
- Spread awareness.
- Advocate for the wellbeing and future of children in foster care.
- Encourage our neighborhoods, communities, cities and states to take a stand.
- Ask our business and companies to support adoption.
- Provide everyone with the opportunity to get involved.
How can I participate?
Everyone can participate in National Adoption Month.
- Read more on National Adoption Month’s history and purpose.
- Spread the word on this year’s initiative, "We Never Outgrow the Need for Family."
- Share information with your family and friends.
- Attend an Adoption Month event in your community.
- Donate money to an adoption or foster care agency.
- Volunteer your time with an adoption or foster care organization.
- Check out 43 Ways Everyone can Celebrate National Adoption Month