It’s almost time. November 21st is National Adoption Day. More than 100,000 children in the United States are waiting for a loving home (52% male and 48% female). The average time a child spends in foster care is 4 years…4 years too long to wait for a permanent family and the affection every child needs.
At the turn of the millennia in the year 2000, National Adoption Day was launched by The National Adoption Day Coalition. Approximately 50,000 children have been adopted during the last 14 years. This day is celebrated on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Once a year, more than 4,500 children’s dreams come true as courts finalize adoptions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Several national partners – Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, The Alliance for Children’s Rights, and Children’s Action Network – sponsor National Adoption Day. The purpose is to attract attention to children in the foster care system who would love to sit down with a family of their very own at the Thanksgiving Day feast. Also, National Adoption Day celebrates the caring families who do open their hearts and homes to an adoptive child. During the one-day 15th anniversary of this effort, over 4,500 children in foster care were taken into their permanent homes.
The goals of National Adoption Day are:
- To finalize adoptions from foster care in all 50 states.
- To celebrate and honor families who adopt.
- To increase awareness of the more than 100,000 children in foster care waiting for safe, permanent, and loving homes.
- To grow the alliance among local adoption agencies, courts and advocacy organizations.
Primarily, National Adoption Day’s aim is to decrease the number of children in foster care by finding each one a “forever home”. Children in foster care may be moved from family to family many times during their sojourn in the system. Needless to say, this uprooting can be traumatic and have lasting effects.
Another objective of National Adoption Day is to dispel the myths of adopting from foster care. They are just that…myths. For instance, the misconception that all children in foster care have some mental or emotional handicap. Most children in the foster system were removed from the care of their birth parents because they weren’t in a safe environment or their basic needs were being neglected, not because the children did anything wrong or something is wrong with them.
This year in particular, National Adoption Day is focused on the more than 22,000 children who age out of the system. At the young age of 18, one in four children leave foster care with no place to call home, no family to support them, suddenly thrust into the world with no resources. They are not equipped to face this new life alone. They are more likely not to finish high school, be unemployed, and be dependent on public assistance. A lot of these youths find themselves in prison, homeless, or parents at an early age.
Many prospective parents are going abroad to adopt when there are children in this country who need a home. If you are thinking of adopting, please check this site http://www.adoptuskids.org/. There are many, many children in this country who need you. To learn more about foster care adoption and National Adoption Day, visit www.nationaladoptionday.org.
This may be the day you’ve been waiting for…and a beautiful child has been hoping for.
CASA Advocates play an instrumental role in helping children in foster care find forever families. CASA Advocates ensure that the placement is right, visiting the family and watching their interaction with the child, and then presenting an informed recommendation to the judge. Advocates get to know their child. CASA’s primary goal is to help find a safe, permanent home where the child can grow up and thrive.