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November Is National Adoption Awareness Month

11/15/2001:   Most Americans have personal experience with adoption. They themselves, family members, or close friends were adopted, adopted a child, or had a child placed for adoption. Among numerous well-known persons who were adopted as children are former President Gerald Ford, singer Faith Hill, and Dave Thomas (founder of Wendy’s restaurants). For information on National Adoption Awareness Month including a Fact Sheet, public service announcements, CWLA publications on adoption, and links to other websites, go to www.cwla.org and click on the National Adoption Awareness Month icon.

In the United States, an estimated 1 million children live with adoptive parents, and 2% to 4% of families include an adopted child. In 1999, a total of 150,000 adoptions took place, including private, interfamily, agency, and intercountry. More than one-half of the intercountry adoptions in 1999 were from two countries: China and Russia. In 2000, about 581,000 children were in foster care; of these, 50,000 were adopted—a 10% increase over 1999 and almost double the number (28,000) adopted in 1996.

Of the more than one-half million children now in foster care, an estimated 134,000 are available for adoption. They are America’s waiting children. Their median age is 8; about 42% are African American, 32% white, 15% Hispanic. Some have special needs—they may be older, want to stay with siblings, or have disabilities.

The North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting adoptive parents, informing adoption professionals, and helping children find permanent, loving homes. A National Adoption Month Awareness Guide, available at www.nacac.org, features information on how individuals and groups can raise adoption awareness and celebrate adoption in their communities, places of worship, schools, and homes during November and year round. Suggestions include:
  • Write a letter to the editor celebrating adoptive parents and the birth parents who made the adoption possible.
  • Buy an adoption-related book for a school, library, or daycare center. Encourage your library or bookstore to display books about adoption.
  • Take someone in the adoption community to lunch—a social worker, birthparent, adoptee, or an adoptive parent or grandparent. Thank them for the life-changing difference they have made through their role in the adoption process.
  • Sponsor an Adoption Fair or Information Night at a school or community center. Remember that the people who live adoption are the real experts on topics like how to adopt, adoption over a lifetime, parenting multiracial families, special kids and special needs, and grandparenting in adoption.
  • Mark your calendars now for the CBS TV Special, "A Home for the Holidays." The program is scheduled to air at 8 p.m. EST on December 21. Plan a viewing party to learn, with others, more about how to address local adoption issues or needs.




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