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SatNov 23

National Adoption Day – November 23, 2024

National Adoption Day is celebrated every November 23. Did you know that in 2015 alone, 4,000 adoptions were finalized on the Saturday before Thanksgiving? Events are held all over the country to celebrate this holiday — during which communities and courts join efforts to find the right families for children in the foster care system. Let’s celebrate National Adoption Day as thousands of foster children are welcomed into their forever homes!

History of National Adoption Day

National Adoption Day is an effort to focus attention on the more than 125,000 children waiting to be adopted from foster care in the U.S. A coalition of national partners — the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, Alliance for Children’s Rights and Children’s Action Network — founded National Adoption Day.

The coalition, along with the Freddie Mac Foundation, encouraged seven cities in 2000 to open their courts on or around the Saturday before Thanksgiving to finalize and celebrate adoptions from foster care.

Michael Nash, a former presiding judge of Los Angeles County’s Juvenile Court, inspired the first National Adoption Day with his innovative efforts. Nash opened the court on Saturdays, engaged the volunteer efforts of court personnel, and finalized adoptions to reduce the backlog of one of the busiest courts in the nation.

Today policymakers, practitioners and advocates collaborate to plan these annual, one-day events in 400 U.S. cities. To date the dreams of 75,000 children in foster care have come true as part of National Adoption Day events.

Approximately 2 million Americans are adopted — with about 150,000 adoptions happening each year, including about 50,000 through foster-care. U.S. adoptions may be either domestic or international. Domestic adoptions can be arranged either through a state agency, an adoption agency, or independently.

National Adoption Day timeline

​Thousands adopted

​Nearly 70,000 children in the foster system have celebrated their forever families on this day since its inception.

​400 cities strong

Over 400 cities across the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia participate in events to celebrate families that adopt.

​First National Adoption Day

A coalition of sponsors partner with state foster care agencies, courts, and law firms to establish this official day with events across the country.

Adoption reform

New measures help adoptees search for their birth parents if they desire to do so. More states begin to consider changing laws to give those separated by adoption access to information about themselves and each other.

National Adoption Day FAQs

What day is National Adoption Day?

National Adoption Day falls on the Monday before Thanksgiving (November 23, 2020) — although events are held throughout the month.

Who started National Adoption Day?

A coalition of adoption support agencies including the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute began National Adoption Day in 2000.

Is there a national pet adoption day?

August 1 is better known as “DOGust 1,” encourages people to adopt shelter pets each year.

How to Observe National Adoption Day

  1. Volunteer at an event

    Help one of the hundreds of organizations that support National Adoption Day, such as the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, The Alliance for Children’s Rights, and Children’s Action Network. Get involved in a rally, volunteer at an adoption exhibit, or donate your time to a local fundraising event.

  2. Use social media

    Promote adoption with the hashtag #nationaladoptionday. The more we know, the more we are engaged, and the more children find forever homes.

  3. Take a leap

    Looking to grow your family? Consider adoption! It may not be for everyone, but if you have considered adoption, join the thousands who have given a precious child a forever home.

​3 Foster Care Facts

  1. ​Thousands of children need placement

    ​More than 117,000 children are currently awaiting forever families in the U.S. foster care system.

  2. ​The average wait is 3 years

    ​On average, children in the foster care system wait three years to be adopted.

  3. ​Many children age out

    ​Over 20,000 children age out of the foster care system annually, without a family or permanent home.

Why National Adoption Day is Important

  1. We get to celebrate family

    National Adoption Day is a time when thousands of children who have spent days, months, or even years in foster care are finally given a forever home with their forever parents.

  2. We get to witness raw and simple love

    Adoption is a celebration of selfless, simple love. It’s the choice to foster and permanently adopt someone else’s child. It’s choosing your family and giving kids without a family a home filled with love.

  3. We get to volunteer

    Hundreds of organizations work to promote adoption. We get to volunteer our time to help them spread the word and land a permanent home for thousands of children in the foster care system.

National Adoption Day dates

2021November 20Saturday
2022November 19Saturday
2023November 18Saturday
2024November 23Saturday
2025November 22Saturday

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