National Adoption Awareness Month

The general public can be forgiven if they think that National Adoption Awareness Month is a promotion of adopting infants.  That is not the purpose and it could have been titled better.

Thousands of children and youth are currently in foster care and waiting for a permanent home within the embrace of a loving family.  In 1976, then Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis announced an Adoption Week to promote awareness of the need of children in foster care to be matched with an adoptive family.

In 1995, President Bill Clinton expanded the awareness week to the entire month of November. Three years later, President Clinton directed the US Dept of Health & Human Services to expand the use of the internet as a tool to assist in finding homes for foster care children seeking a stable home.

There actually is a National Foster Care Month – May.  Foster Care is intended to support families. It is not intended as a substitute for a child’s parents.

Only 5 percent of all children adopted in 2017 were 15 – 18 years old.  The risk of homelessness and human trafficking is increased for teenagers in foster care.  Average time in foster care is 31 months.