During National Adoption Month, a coalition of organizations representing thousands of children and millions of caretakers is urgently calling upon good-hearted Americans to support, learn about, and consider adoption. More than 100,000 youngsters are waiting to be adopted and many have been waiting for years to find a safe, loving family they can call their own. Sadly, the challenges facing them are increasing as the national profile of adoptive children changes. Some have disabilities or have been traumatized, requiring extra-special care. Many are older and will not get the love they seek. In fact, 1 in 10 of these children will reach 18 without finding a forever family.
Older Kids, Older Folks
To help these children, adoption agencies, nonprofits, municipalities, and private organizations across the country are encouraging Americans to consider adopting a child. Websites, such as www.adoption.com , www.nationaladoptionday.org , and www.childwelfare.gov , provide detailed facts and “how-to” guides about adoption, including information about different kinds of adoptive families. One group focused on grandparents is even providing an incentive for older people just to consider sharing their wisdom and experience via adoption. GRAND Magazine, an online resource for grandparents, has long reported the growing phenomenon of children being raised by older people, and is encouraging America’s seniors with a free gift subscription to anyone who goes to www.grandmagazine.com and visits the National Adoption Month section. Just click on the “Thank-you” gift button.
“The face of childcare and adoption in America is changing dramatically,” says Christine Crosby, publisher of GRAND. “People have this image of a young family adopting a smiling infant, but the reality is more complex, with many older children and older caretakers. In fact, grandparents are now the primary caretakers for some six million U.S. children. But whether you are able to consider adopting a child or not, everyone can help spread the word about the need during National Adoption Month.”
A wealth of information is available on the web for people curious about adoption, including domestic and foreign adoptions, adopting older children, transracial adoptions, single-parent adoptions, or taking in a special-needs child. For those who have not yet decided whether they wish to adopt a child or help in another way, there are even online “adoption calendars” for the entire month of November, providing day-by-day suggestions on everything from preparing your family to adopt to ways of supporting local adoption agencies. Whatever you do, somewhere a child will thank you.
About National Adoption Month
November is National Adoption Month, a month set aside each year to raise awareness about the adoption of children and youth from foster care. This year's National Adoption Month initiative targets adoption professionals by focusing on ways to recruit and retain parents for the 115,000 children and youth in foster care waiting for adoptive families. The first major effort to promote awareness of the need for adoptive families for children in foster care occurred in Massachusetts in 1976, when Governor Michael Dukakis announced an Adoption Week. The idea grew in popularity and spread nationwide. In 1984, President Reagan proclaimed the first National Adoption Week, and in 1995, under President Clinton, the week was expanded to the entire month of November. Every November, a Presidential proclamation launches activities and celebrations to help build awareness of adoption throughout the nation. Thousands of community organizations arrange and host programs, events, and activities to share positive adoption stories, challenge the myths, and draw attention to the thousands of children in foster care who are waiting for permanent families.
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