November is National Adoption Awareness Month, a month to celebrate the importance of adoption, awareness of the process, and promote understanding of the way it impacts people. It’s the time for families to celebrate and share their stories, and encourage others to learn more about the adoption process.
The month began in 1995, when then President Bill Clinton extended the previous National Adoption Awareness week into an entire month. It was intended as a time to celebrate adoption in all of its various forms, as well as educate others on the importance of adoption. The educational portion of the month often highlights the number of kids ready to be adopted who are still in the foster system (about 107,000) and the average wait time that these children will face before adoption (2-3 years) to encourage an increased interest in adoption.
The federal and state governments in combination with large foundations and adoption agencies also try to offer more adoption resources and make adoption a more reasonable and accessible option for families who might be on the fence.
During the month, there is the “One Day Project,” a specific day of the month that is meant to symbolize the one day when these families saw their adoption finalized. It’s a celebration of those families and their unique and important stories, and an opportunity to share these stories so that others can be educated and celebrate alongside.
National Adoption Day was first started in 2000, when several large foundations and organizations, along with some law firms and foster care agencies made a point of trying to finalize as many adoptions as possible on one specific day. They finalized hundreds, and the day has become a popular one, with almost 65,000 adoptions finalized each year on National Adoption Day.
Educate & Celebrate
Adoption is a life-changing and important part of many families’ stories. And for those who are looking to adopt but are intimidated by the process, worry if it’s the right choice for them, or are dealing with other concerns, being able to hear about how many unique families went through the process may help alleviate those concerns. The insight into how the adoption process works and how families came to the realization that it was the right decision for them may help others come to the same conclusion and boost adoption rates. On National Adoption Day, the One Day Project encourages people to share their stories using the #onedayproject hashtag, and encourages people to read those stories and learn more about the joys and struggles of the adoption process.
Adoption is a big decision and often a powerful part of a family’s story. The opportunity to use our experiences to educate and inspire others is extremely important. While it’s always difficult to share the personal and intimate details of your life and your family’s story, just know that it can be a crucial factor for others as they make their own decisions.