This year’s National Adoption Month theme is “Small Steps Open Doors.” It means that making small efforts, like telling a young person you believe in them or asking what’s important to them, could lead to big changes. With burnout and turnover at record levels, workers should know that time-intensive, difficult interventions aren’t the only way to make a difference in a young person’s life.

Honoring of adoption dates back to 1976 when Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis declared an Adoption Week to spread awareness about the necessity of adopting children in foster care. In 1984, President Reagan announced November 19-25th as “National Adoption Week” to celebrate families who have adopted and to encourage more families to accept permanency for children in foster care. Next, in 1995, President Clinton declared November as “National Adoption Month” to expand Reagan’s provisions to the whole month (US Department of Health & Human Services).

In 2021, there were approximately 113,000 children waiting to be adopted.