On Tuesday, November 3, Voice for Adoption (VFA) held their annual Adoptive Family Portrait Project. The event held on Capitol Hill in recognition of November as National Adoption Month, shines a bright light on the many families that have adopted children from foster care. The theme of this year’s event was called “Celebrating Families Who Help Children Shine.”

CWLA, one of the founding members of VFA participated in the annual event now in its 11th year. It is hosted on Capitol Hill to raise awareness among members of Congress and their staff about the real experiences and needs of families that have adopted children who were in the public child welfare system. This year 41 members of Congress from both houses sponsored or featured a family from their district to highlight the moving stories and efforts of families who have adopted a child from foster care. In many instances families adopt a group of siblings from foster care or have returned to adopt more children from foster care. Most of the families are middle or lower income.   Currently there are 108,000 children in foster care waiting to be adopted. These are children who have a case plan of adoption and/or are children where parental rights have been terminated.

As part of the VFA event a number of families come to Capitol Hill to tell their stories. This year’s event included families from Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin and participants where provided with a story book which can also be found on the VFA website.

VFA also presented special awards to the organization Concerned Person for Adoption for their work in providing post adoption support to families in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Maryland and Pennsylvania through the use of regular conferences. VFA also recognized the American Public Human Services Association and the Interstate Compact on Placement of Children for their efforts to streamline the ICPC through their use of an internet-based streamlined data base system, the National Electronic Interstate Compact Enterprise (NEICE).