Every November is National Adoption Awareness month. This is the time to identify the importance and value of adoption. We are now celebrating our 17th year of this official recognition. Three out of five families are touched by adoption in some way and it is an integral part of the fabric of our American culture.
In 1976, Governor Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts announced an official Adoption Week. The aim was to promote awareness of the need to find permanent families for children languishing in the foster care system. The idea was widely embraced and accepted by the public.
In 1995, President Clinton declared November to be National Adoption Awareness month. He also pushed forward efforts to use the internet as a tool for bringing parents and children together in forever families. At the highest levels, adoption was finally getting the acceptance and recognition it deserved.
Education on the health and well-being of adopted children had moved to the forefront. Parents no longer hid from their children that they were adopted. It was something to be proud of; not a secret to hide. Children’s books continued to be written to teach young children about their earliest beginnings and self-awareness. Adoption support and playgroups sprung up throughout the country.
Today, we are blessed that adoptive families are mainstream and not considered unusual in any way. There is so much more information available to educate adoptive parents on the unique emotional needs of their children. Children are encouraged and supported. There is no cookie cutter mold for what a family “looks like”. Families come in a mix of races, ages and backgrounds.
Take action to celebrate and honor your own adoption experience. Whether you are waiting or living your “dream- come- true”, now is the time to promote adoption awareness amongst your own family, friends and community! Share your own family’s story. Join an adoption support group. Your personal journey will provide positive insights on the beloved way you have or plan to build your family.
If you would like ideas on how to celebrate National Adoption Awareness month please contact Lifetime Adoption Center, 1-800-923-6784 or www.LifetimeAdoption.com.