National Adoption Month began in 1976, when Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis announced an adoption week to promote awareness of the need for adoptive families for children in foster care. Almost 20 years later, former President Clinton expanded the awareness week to the entire month of November. Now, 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.
This year's National Adoption Month initiative emphasizes the partnerships necessary to create permanent connections for the 100,000 children and youth in foster care waiting for adoptive families.
Adopt US Kids
National Adoption Month is celebrated and promoted by many organizations and charities throughout the United States. One such organization has made facilitating military adoptions an integral part of their mission. Adopt US Kids is a collaboration of the Children's Bureau, the Adoption Exchange Association and their partners. Their mission is to recruit and connect foster and adoptive families with waiting children throughout the United States. Adopt US Kids published a guide created to simplify the process of adopting children. This guide breaks down the adoption process into simple language, checklists and charts providing an abundance of information divided into five parts:
- Understanding the issues specific to military families adopting or fostering a child
- Detailing the steps in the foster and adoption process
- Providing information regarding inter-jurisdictional placements and collaborations with other organizations
- Providing military family-specific tools and handouts for practitioners to use
- Providing references, websites and agencies helpful to military families trying to adopt or foster a child
While a guide is extremely helpful in educating prospective parents about the ins and outs of the adoption process, speaking to someone knowledgeable about military adoptions may also be beneficial. Military OneSource adoption specialty consultants can offer assistance with beginning the adoption process, locating military-related financial assistance, including DoD's Adoption Reimbursement Program, and identifying agencies that can help with specific adoption needs. Consultants can also provide callers with adoption agency information, support groups and general literature on adoption.
For more information visit the Child Welfare Information Gateway. Or, if you prefer one-on-one advice, consider a Military OneSource specialty consultation. Adoption consultations are available year-round, as are translation services for multilingual families. Go online or call a Military OneSource consultant today at 800-342-9647 to discover the adoption resources available to you.