As November is a time to start celebrating the upcoming holidays, it is also a time to celebrate adoption and help children find their forever homes. This is an important month as concentrated efforts are made to ensure that awareness is raised about adoption.
Though I think it is critical to celebrate adoption every day and year-round, I do understand that like any awareness month, focusing on adoption in November gives us the opportunity to celebrate children who have been adopted, families who have adopted, and those working on adopting.
The first major effort to promote awareness of the need for adoptive families for children in foster care came in 1976 when an Adoption Week was formed for the state of Massachusetts. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan created the first National Adoption Week in the United States, which would continue yearly. In 1995, then-President Bill Clinton proclaimed November as National Adoption Month for the United States of America. The main purpose of National Adoption Month is to bring awareness to the 102,000 foster children in the United States who are eligible for adoption and need forever families.
During the month, states, communities, public and private organizations, businesses, families, and individuals celebrate adoption as a positive way to build families. Activities and observations across the nation such as recognition dinners, public awareness and recruitment campaigns, and special events shed light on children who need of permanent families. The month also includes National Adoption Day, November 20, which is observed in courthouses across the nation, where thousands of adoptions are finalized simultaneously.
This year has brought a variety of challenges for adoptive families, children, and Special Needs Adoption Program (SNAP) staff. COVID-19 has impacted the adoption process in many ways. Virtual meetings and completing, signing, and returning paperwork using technology has become the norm. Family court proceedings have also been slowed. Through it all, children, families, and staff have persevered and continued to show patience, compassion, resilience, and strength. While the pandemic has attempted to slow down the number of adoptions completed, the need for children to find permanent homes has not.
LSC Special Needs Adoption Program staff celebrates the foster children that have been adopted, the families that have adopted, and those that are currently in the program and the process of adoption. Thank you to the Special Needs Adoption Program staff who are assisting families in being matched with foster children in need of a permanent home and working with the children and families until a final decree of adoption is issued.
– Special Needs Adoption Program (SNAP) Program Manager Kim Burrows