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
Nearly 70,000 children in the foster system have celebrated their forever families on this day since its inception.
Over 400 cities across the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia participate in events to celebrate families that adopt.
A coalition of sponsors partner with state foster care agencies, courts, and law firms to establish this official day with events across the country.
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?
Who started National Adoption Day?
Is there a national pet adoption day?
How to Observe National Adoption Day
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.
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.
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
Thousands of children need placement
More than 117,000 children are currently awaiting forever families in the U.S. foster care system.
The average wait is 3 years
On average, children in the foster care system wait three years to be adopted.
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
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.
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.
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