According to Child Welfare Information Gateway, the idea of dedicating a time to raise awareness about the need for adoption began in 1976 when the governor of Massachusetts created an Adoption Week for the state. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan created the first National Adoption Week for the country. President Bill Clinton expanded the awareness week into an awareness month in 1995. For the past 25 years, the U.S. has dedicated the month of November as National Adoption Month.
The purpose of National Adoption Month is to spread awareness about the large need for loving families to foster and adopt children in the country’s child welfare system. In the U.S., there are more than 400,000 children in substitute care. Of those, more than 122,000 children are waiting to be adopted. This means their biological parents’ rights have been terminated, and they will remain in care until they are adopted. If these children are never adopted, children anywhere between ages 18 and 21 will age out of the foster care system with no one to support or care for them, leaving them vulnerable to homelessness, human trafficking, abuse and more.
The quantity of children in care is often referred to as the “foster care crisis,” a crisis that is not spoken of enough. This is why private and public agencies, churches and individuals aim to educate others about adoption every November. As Christians, the Bible calls us to protect orphans and care for those who cannot care for themselves.
Maybe you can’t foster or adopt a child in need, but everyone can do something.
This National Adoption Month, how will you help?
- Open your home to a child in need via fostering or adoption.
- Support families who are adopting or fostering.
- Donate to organizations that protect children and work to place them in safe homes.
- Pray for the children in care, the families who open their homes, and the social workers who dedicate time and energy to caring for this vulnerable population.
- Start a foster care and adoption ministry at your church to support members who answer the call.
- Spread awareness about the need for loving families by sharing National Adoption Month content on social media.