On Wednesday, November 13, Voice for Adoption held the 15th annual Adoptive Family Portrait Project. The event honored families who have adopted from foster care in the United States. This year’s theme for the project was, “Family means that no one gets left behind.” Having a family is being part of a team. No child is too old or too traumatized to be adopted by a loving family.

“Every child – no matter their age – deserves a family to call their own, and there is a critical need for Americans from every background to become aware and involved. Everyone can make a difference either by considering adoption from foster care or by supporting the work of agencies finding or supporting forever families for children who wait”, said Schylar Baber, Executive Director of Voice for Adoption.

Voice for Adoption presented the 2019 Legislative Champion Award to Congresswoman Jenniffer González-Colón (R-PR) in recognition of her bipartisan work on behalf of children in foster care and adoptive families. Congresswoman González-Colón, along with Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) introduced the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, HR 3114, in the House which prohibits discrimination against youth in foster care because of their gender, religion, or sexual orientation. It would also prohibit child welfare agencies from discriminating against any potential foster family. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is the sponsor of the Senate companion bill S. 1791.

In attendance were a collection of adopted children and their families from all over the country. Many families shared their journeys to adoption and described the obstacles they faced along the way. Voice for Adoption delivered the personal portraits and stories of these families to their Congressional representatives, giving policymakers a look at stories of adoption within their districts.

The stories of these families are to raise awareness of the 125,422 children still waiting to be adopted from foster care. November is National Adoption Awareness Month, so this month is dedicated to celebrating adoptive families and advocating for children who are waiting to be adopted.