November is a very important month in the adoption community. It’s a time to raise awareness and share our stories of adoption. This month is an opportunity to celebrate adoption, raise awareness about the adoption triad and the unique nuances of adoption and support organizations and agencies that work in this field.
According to childwelfare.gov, Michael Dukakis, who was the Massachusetts governor at the time, recognized an official adoption week in 1976. Just a few years later, in 1984, then President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first National Adoption Week. But, as we know, a week just isn’t enough to celebrate and educate. President Bill Clinton went on to establish National Adoption Awareness Month in November in 1995.
This was initially a month to celebrate adoption professionals and those who are a part of the adoption triad, but has gone on to be a pivotal time to raise awareness about the over 400,000 children in foster care right now searching for a permanent home.
Awareness is important because though many people know about adoption and even likely have a close friend or family member who has been a part of the adoption triad, they don’t know the process, they haven’t taken time to hear stories shared by birth parents or adult adoptees, and they don’t know some of the staggering statistics surrounding foster care and adoption in our country and worldwide. This month highlights these things and encourages those who haven’t spent time with these facts and stories to do so and join the rest of us that raise awareness all year long to be a part of that.
There are many things that you can do to celebrate and raise awareness this month.
1. Share your Story.
If you are a part of the adoption triad, this is a great time to share your story with others. A lot of people don’t understand the unique nuances of adoption or how the process works. This is an important month also to share more about birth parents and recognize them. This is a month where people have the opportunity to learn about something important to many of us and others learn really well from listening to lived experiences.
2. Read Books about Adoption
This is my favorite month to revisit all of the books about adoption that have inspired me before. It’s a great time to also read to children about adoption, even those that aren’t a part of the adoption triad so that they can learn about others and their experiences.
3. Make Social Media Posts to Raise Awareness
In November, you’ll likely see posts regarding statistics about foster care, organizations you can support and adoption facts. Share these on your socials to encourage others to learn about this month and why it is so important.
4. Support Agencies and Organizations
If you’re financially able, consider donating to organizations and agencies that work with adoption. If you’re not able to give money, see if there is volunteer work you can do or if they’re doing any collection of items that you can help to gather for them.
5. Learn more and Educate Others
I have been reading and writing about adoption for almost ten years, but I’m still constantly taking in new facts, learning from the stories of adoptees and birth parents, and like to pass on what I’ve learned to others who are also seeking to learn. This month is a great opportunity to focus on learning more.
Whatever you do this month, make sure to share with others how adoption has impacted your life and how they can get involved in National Adoption Awareness Month in your community.