National Adoption Day has helped nearly 35,000 children find permanent families in 11 years
Since its inception in 2000, the National Adoption Day effort has helped nearly 35,000 children find permanent, loving families.
In 2010, 4,800 children from foster care found their forever families during the 11th Annual National Adoption Day on Nov. 20. After more than a decade, the number of children in foster care adopted on National Adoption Day totals nearly 35,000.
National Adoption Day started in 2000 when a coalition of adoption advocacy groups partnered together to take the Los Angeles “Adoption Saturday” model and make it a national event.
“Each year 114,000 children in foster care are eligible for adoption,” said Ralph F. Boyd, Jr., president and CEO of the Freddie Mac Foundation, a member of the National Adoption Day Coalition, and father to a child he and his wife adopted from foster care. “On one single day for the last 11 years, the lives of thousands of children in foster care have been forever changed. That day is National Adoption Day.”
The first National Adoption Day was held on Nov. 20, 2000 in six states and Washington, D.C. That year 1,100 children in foster care were adopted. Over the next 10 years, the number gradually rose to include more than 4,800 children in approximately 400 cities being adopted in 2010.
"We believe that each year, significantly more Americans understand that thousands of our children are waiting in foster care for adoptive families and homes,” said Rita Soronen, executive director of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, a member of the National Adoption Day Coalition. “Americans are developing a deeper understanding that many more people, even those in nontraditional families, can adopt. We hope that individuals from all walks of life will consider adoption from foster care.”
“Far too many children are still waiting in foster care for families to adopt them,” says Janis Spire, CEO and president of The Alliance for Children’s Rights, a member of the National Adoption Day Coalition, “We are thrilled that the trend over the past four years has been an increase in the number of foster care adoptions. This is proof that National Adoption Day is succeeding in highlighting the need for even more adoptive families to help provide a brighter future for our foster children, addressing the sometimes negative myths and breaking down barriers associated with adoption.”
Events took place across the country celebrating adoption. For example, in Los Angeles, the National Adoption Day founding city, an estimated 130 children in foster care were adopted on just one day. The event featured National Adoption Day spokesperson, actress Nia Vardalos, celebrities, adoptive families and a family-focused entertainment.
National Adoption Day celebrations stretched beyond the courtroom in 2010. In New Orleans, the New Orleans Saints celebrated with Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) honoring a local adoptive family and playing the National Adoption Day PSA live in the Superdome. On November 19, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius finalized an adoption for two Washington DC-based families to kick-off this year’s National Adoption Day Events.
“About 4,800 children across all 50 states had their wishes come true. We are enormously grateful to our spokespersons and the thousands of volunteers and parents who have made it possible,” said Lee Mullane, interim director of communications and media relations for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a member of the National Adoption Day Coalition.
The National Adoption Day Coalition works tirelessly throughout the year with hundreds of communities and thousands of volunteers to dispel the myths about adopting from foster care and to raise awareness about the children in need of adoptive families. The day also builds collaboration among local adoption agencies, courts and advocacy organizations and communicates the availability and need for post-adoptive services.
“We are pleased to celebrate our 11-year history of helping foster care children find permanent, loving homes,” said Jennifer Perry, executive director of Children’s Action Network, a member of the National Adoption Day Coalition. “However, there is still much to be done. Sadly, each year, nearly 29,000 of those 114,000 children in foster care eligible for adoption will age out of the system when they turn 18 with no family to support them in the future. We encourage anyone interested in adoption to learn more about the foster care system.”
About the National Adoption Day Coalition
National Adoption Day is sponsored by a coalition dedicated to improving the lives of children, including The Alliance for Children’s Rights, The Annie E. Casey Foundation/Casey Family Services, Children’s Action Network, The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and the Freddie Mac Foundation. For more information about the events taking place across the United States and information on National Adoption Day, please visit www.nationaladoptionday.org.
Paul Werth Assoc.