National Adoption Month

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Observing Adoption Awareness Month

Each year, November is recognized as National Adoption Awareness Month. While all adoption-related issues are important, the particular focus of this month is the adoption of children currently in foster care.

Activities and celebrations are kicked off with a Presidential Proclamation, and while efforts made at the national level certainly help build awareness of adoption, participation in local programs, events, and activities by those of us with a direct connection to adoption can often be the most effective way to promote positive perceptions, debunk the myths, and draw attention to the tens of thousands of children in foster care who wait and hope for permanent families. Our photolisting is one of the Internet's largest one-source listing of waiting children.

National Adoption Month 2012

2012 is an exciting year for National Adoption Month. As it always has been and as it always will be, the focus for November is finding loving, permanent homes for the foster children who are waiting to be adopted. But this year marks a modern twist--social media and digital efforts. This year's theme is: "National Adoption Month--Virtually: Adoption in the Digital Age." The U.S. Department of Human Services knows that social media and social networking allow information to be shared easily, quickly, and effectively, and this month's focus is on sharing, educating, and informing others about the 104,000 foster children in the United States who are currently waiting to find their forever families. To join the cause, log in to any or all of your social networking accounts and spread the word. Update your blog and share your own story to help inspire others. You can get involved without ever leaving your home. However, if you're looking for a hands-on opportunity, communities across the country are coming together to help foster children in need. And you're an essential part of this effort! Help make 2012's National Adoption Month the best one yet!

30 Days of Ideas

Celebrate National Adoption Awareness Month with a new activity every day. With 5 years of NAM Calendars to browse you'll find countless ideas and activities that are fun for the whole family. Here's a sampling of one of our best years:

November 2011

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

Adoption Month History

The first major effort to promote awareness of the need for adoptive families for children in the foster care system occurred in Massachusetts. In 1976, then-Governor Mike Dukakis proclaimed Adoption Week and the idea grew in popularity and spread throughout the nation. President Gerald Ford made the first National Adoption Week proclamation, and in 1990, the week was expanded to a month due to the number of states participating and the number of events.

During the month, states, communities, public and private organizations, businesses, families, and individuals celebrate adoption as a positive way to build families. Across the nation, activities and observances such as recognition dinners, public awareness and recruitment campaigns, and special events spotlight the needs of children who need permanent families. It also includes National Adoption Day, traditionally a Saturday, which is observed in courthouses across the nation as thousands of adoptions are finalized simultaneously.

Get Involved & Plan Ahead

Promoting awareness can be done through planned events and campaigns, gatherings and celebrations, and simple everyday activities. These are all opportunities to educate ourselves and others about adoption and about issues surrounding adoption. With a little advance planning, our efforts can work wonders. Even one family for one child is a success.

Plan Activities

Use the Free Materials in our Tool Kit

Involve Elected Officials and Candidates
Even in non-election years, elected officials at all levels are supportive of efforts to build adoption awareness. Both current officials and candidates should be receptive to invitations to participate in events with family appeal. Don't be surprised if your invitations to speak, appear at, or host an Adoption Awareness event are readily accepted. And don't forget to suggest that public figures issue proclamations of their own!

Get an Early Start
Make your plans well in advance if you want to involve politicians.

Talk to the Press
Before contacting the media with announcements and press releases, do your homework. Talk to your local social services department or your State Adoption Specialist to make sure you have numbers, contact information for your organization and state social welfare offices to give media representatives, and a plan for handling information requests.

A Positive look at adoption from the founder of

Co-founder and President of Adoption Media, LLC Dale Gwilliam was a featured guest on The James Gang of Fox News Radio 600 KCOL. In recognition of National Adoption Awareness month the radio station is featuring guests who are making a difference in the adoption world by sharing their experiences and valuable information. Radio talk show host and interviewer Scott James and his wife Julie are the proud parents of an adopted child. Click here to enjoy the live broadcast. The podcast is titled The James Gang 11/02/07 6:00pm.

More Resources & Ideas for National Adoption Awareness Month

Talking to Children, Relatives, and Friends about Adoption


Answers to Children’s Questions About Adoption
Gracious Answers to Awkward Questions About Our Adopted Kids
Questions Come With the Territory
Talking with Children About Adoption
Unsolicited Comments


How I Was Adopted
Talking With Young Children About Adoption
Adoption is a Family Affair: What Relatives and Friends Must Know
Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew


Internet Adoption
Observing Adoption Awareness Month
Don't Spread Peanut Butter on the Dog
Precious Cargo
Adoption Relationships

Visitor Comments (5)
Adding your comments contributes to the adoption community. Please keep all comments on topic and civil. Visitors are invited to comment and vote for or flag comments based on appropriateness and helpfulness. All comments must adhere to our commenting rules and are subject to moderation.
Linda - 3 months ago
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I have never been so upset as to the way Riverpark hospital in McMinnville, Tn. treated my daughter in law and my adopted granddaughter. The birth mother choice private adoption. The hospital didn't approve. Addison was the 1st baby of 2015 and was not recognized as such because my son and his wife adopted her. The birth mother/father and family felt as we do about her not being acknowledged. The hospital placed Addison and my daughter in law in a room as far from nurses station as they could. The refused to check on Addison, they had to be asked to bring milk and other supplies to room. They treated all parties involved badly. Adoption is a beautiful thing. They need to realize that and not try to make any of the parties feel badly about their choices. #1
Virginia - 4 months ago
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I have a big sister (Danielle Joyce) who was adopted by Louise Whitfield some 40 years ago in Maryland. I have been searching for my sister for years. I have not found her yet, but I am not giving up! #2
Luz - 1 year ago
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I think any loving family should be allowed to adopt! #3
Sandy - 4 months ago
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I am a birth mother. I never saw or held my son. He found me this Sept 2014. He is 45 yrs old, has a wonderful family, and had wonderful parents. I have been blessed to meet him. #4
elaine - 1 year ago
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are there any resources for people who have met bio family and had heartache and disappointment from this? if so, I am interested in any. #5
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