November is National Adoption Month. It is the month when the broader community acknowledges the efforts of those whose lives have been impacted by adoption and who facilitate the process. This month helps spread awareness and encourages all of us to learn about adoption. National Adoption Month celebrates the families who have grown through adoption. It also recognizes the journey of the many children who are still waiting for their destined families. It further highlights the thousands of children worldwide in need of adoption, and how easy it is to make a difference even if you cannot adopt.
History of National Adoption Month
Every year, there are more and more children in need of finding secure and safe families. National Adoption Month sheds light on the process and the positive impacts of adoption.
The state of Massachusetts was the first to promote adoption-related efforts in 1976. Governor Mike Dukakis announced the first week of November as “Adoption Week” to promote awareness of the need for adoptive families for children in the foster care system. The idea slowly grew in popularity and spread throughout the nation. Following this, in 1984, President Gerald R. Ford made adoption week a national event. As the popularity of this week grew, more states started participating, and it became difficult to fit all the events into a period of seven days. This was when President Bill Clinton extended the week-long event into a whole month, which came to be known as National Adoption Month, which is celebrated globally.
National Adoption Month is a chance for all — individuals, families, businesses, organizations, communities, states, and the government — to celebrate adoption. Adoption is encouraged as a positive way to grow families and take children out of foster care. Many fundraising drives, recognition dinners, community activities, and awareness campaigns are held all across the nation to observe this month.
National Adoption Month also includes National Adoption Day, November 20. This day is observed in courthouses all across the country, where thousands of adoptions are finalized simultaneously on the Saturday directly after it. Courts are encouraged to deal with the backlog of adoptions on this day. World Adoption Day is also celebrated in this month, on November 9, and is a global awareness day for this important cause.
National Adoption Month timeline
Adoption of Children Act passes in the state of Massachusetts.
The first cross-racial adoption of a black child by white parents takes place in Minnesota.
The number of adoptions peaks in 1970 with an estimated 175,000 annual adoptions.
Adoption by LGBT individuals or same-sex couples is legal in all fifty states as of June 2017.
National Adoption Month FAQs
How many children are adopted each year in the U.S.?
Approximately 150,000 children are adopted in the U.S. each year, with about a third coming through the foster care system.
How are families found for children awaiting adoption?
Agencies such as the National Children’s Bureau organize partnerships with organizations for awareness campaigns and run a national recruitment campaign to find adoptive parents for children.
When is National Adoption Day in the U.S.?
National Adoption Day is held on November 20 each year in the U.S.
How To Observe National Adoption Month
Attend events in your community
There are many events organized being held across the country during National Adoption Month. Attend local events being organized in your town or city and educate yourself about adoption procedures, laws, and history.
Volunteer with an adoption organization
Help out at your local foster care organizations or a children's home during your free time. Even your tiniest efforts can make a huge difference in all these children’s lives. You can even mentor a child who is aging out of the foster care system.
Spread awareness about adoption with your friends and family. Encourage your neighborhoods, communities, cities, and states to take a stand on adoption. You can even spread the word via social media by sharing adoption-positive articles and links.
5 Facts About Adoption
Adoption statistic in U.S. families
One out of every 25 families with children have an adopted child.
Around 7 million Americans are adopted.
Average waiting time for getting adopted
The time an average child waits for an adoptive family is more than three years.
Adoption agencies in the U.S.
The U.S. has more adoption agencies than any other country.
Americans adopt children globally, although the numbers have declined since 2018.
Why Is National Adoption Month Important?
Honor the ones involved in the adoption process
This month allows us to honor families with adopted children and thus make a difference. They are the reasons why adoption is seen as a positive way to grow a family. They inspire many others, who see how beneficial the process is for all those who are involved.
Recognition for the children
All children deserve a safe, loving, and supportive environment to grow. This initiative spreads awareness about adoption and sheds light on the hundreds of thousands of children waiting for families.
Encourages people to get involved
National Adoption Month provides everyone with the opportunity to get involved by encouraging our neighborhoods, communities, cities, and states to take a stand. This month also gives businesses and companies a chance to support adoption.
National Adoption Month dates