National Adoption Day was launched in November 2000 as the National Adoption Day Coalition worked with law firms, state foster care agencies, child advocates and courts to complete hundreds of adoptions from foster care in nine jurisdictions nationwide (New York City; Los Angeles; Chicago; Dallas; El Paso, Texas; Fort Worth, Texas; Washington, D.C.; Omaha, Neb.; and Columbus, Ohio).
As this grassroots effort took hold across the United States, the number of events grew quickly, from 17 in 2001, to 120 in 2003, and to about 400 events in 2011 in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.
Today National Adoption Day is celebrated nationwide on the Saturday before Thanksgiving as hundreds of events are held to finalize the adoptions of children in foster care, and to celebrate all families who adopt. In total, nearly 40,000 children have been adopted from foster care on National Adoption Day during the last 12 years.