Adoption is a lifelong, life-changing journey for all members of the adoption triad: birth parents, adopted people, and adoptive parents.
November is National Adoption month, a month set aside to raise awareness about the adoption of children and youth from foster care. This year's theme,"You don't have to be perfect to be a perfect parent," includes a more focused effort that reaches out to the African American community and builds on the Ad Council's new public service announcement (PSA) campaign of the Children’s Bureau, the Adoption Exchange Association, and AdoptUsKids.
Educate Yourself About Adoption
Adoption, the legal transfer of parental rights from one parent to another, provides children with love, nurturance, and stability and promotes their well-being and their opportunity to become healthy, productive adults.
In the United States adoption is governed by State law, although State law must comply with overarching Federal legislation.
Adoption is essential for the permanency of many children, including:
- Children and youth in foster care who will not be reunited with their birth parents. In many cases these children are adopted by other birth relatives.
- Other U.S. infants and children whose birth parents make adoption plans for them. Birth mothers or fathers may or may not have ongoing contact with the adoptive family or child.
- Children in other countries who need families. In intercountry adoptions, little or no information may be known about a child's birth family at the time of adoption.
Public agencies place foster children for adoption. Private agencies sometimes contract with the public child welfare agency to place foster children; they also may place U.S. infants, or children from other countries. In some States, facilitators (attorneys, physicians, or other intermediaries) may coordinate adoptions without an agency's involvement.
Research demonstrates that most children who are adopted thrive. With training and support, the most ordinary people have grown into their roles as adoptive parents with amazing results. These parents clearly show that adoption is one path to the love, stability, and nurturing all children need.
Educate Your Neighbors About Adoption
Many of your neighbors may benefit from a better understanding of Adoption – National Adoption Month in November is an excellent opportunity to organize an adoption educational event for your community.
If an organized event is not reasonable, consider creating an educational display for your health center, community center, pool, club house, park, or wherever your neighbors congregate.
For Neighborhood Table and Bulletin Board Displays
Highlights of National Adoption Month 2009
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Children's Bureau supports many activities that promote the adoption of children and youth from foster care. National Adoption Month raises public awareness about the thousands of children and youth waiting in foster care for permanent, loving families. The following are some examples of other Children's Bureau efforts to promote adoption:
- Adoption Excellence Awards
Award winners and nomination guidelines.
- Adoption PSAs Generate Millions of Dollars in Donated Media Support and Help Find Families for Kids
Offers information on the power of media support for promoting adoption from foster care.
- Children's Bureau Youth Permanency Grant Cluster
Provides information about the accomplishments of nine grants awarded by the Children's Bureau to explore innovative programs to achieve youth permanency. It includes curriculum and attitude scales about options for youth permanency, including open adoption.
Lists priority areas and award winners for each year.
- A Report to Congress on Barriers and Success Factors in Adoptions From Foster Care: Perspectives of Families and Staff Supported by the Adoption Opportunities Program
Children's Bureau (2007)
Identifies the child, family, and agency factors that presented as barriers or contributors to successful adoptions from foster care.
- A Report to Congress on Adoption and Other Permanency Outcomes for Children in Foster Care: Focus on Older Children
Children's Bureau (2006)
Addresses the challenges related to achieving permanency for children and youth in foster care and presents strategies that show promise for improving outcomes for children in foster care.
- A Report to Congress on Interjurisdictional Adoption of Children in Foster Care
Children's Bureau (2006)
Discusses challenges related to the movement of children in foster care to permanent homes in jurisdictions outside their State or county of residence and presents strategies to improve outcomes for children in foster care whose permanent families reside across jurisdictional lines.
- You Don't Have to be Perfect to be a Perfect Parent
View public service announcements from the ad campaign to recruit families for children and youth in foster care, send e-cards to prospective and adoptive parents, and find resources about adoption from foster care.