COLUMBUS, Ohio – National Adoption Day 2011 will be held on Saturday, November 19. Celebrated across the United States, more than 350 community events are held each year to finalize the adoptions of children in foster care and celebrate adoptive families.
This year, National Adoption Day will include events ranging from courtroom adoptions to local celebrations, in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. Thanks to the volunteer efforts of adoption advocates, policymakers, judges and lawyers, more than 35,000 children have been adopted from foster care on National Adoption Day during the last 11 years.
“We believe we are overcoming the many misconceptions Americans have about foster care adoption,” said Rita Soronen, president and CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and founding 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, and on this day, help us celebrate foster care adoption.”
National Adoption Day is one day in a year-round effort to raise awareness of the 107,000 children in foster care waiting for permanent and loving families. November is also National Adoption Month.
“While there has been an increase in the number of foster care adoptions, there are still far too many children waiting in foster care for families to adopt them. It is unacceptable that any child should not have the opportunity for a safe, loving and permanent home,” said Renette Oklewicz, director of the Freddie Mac Foundation and member of the National Adoption Day Coalition. “National Adoption Day is a collective national effort to raise awareness about the significant need for foster care and adoption, and a very important way we help improve the lives of children in foster care around the country.”
Through no fault of their own, children enter foster care because of abuse, neglect and/or abandonment. Many move to different families more than three times while in the system and are separated from siblings. Each year, nearly 26,000 of these youth will end up leaving the system when they turn 18 with no family to support them in the future.
Among those joining the National Adoption Day celebration is White Collar actor Willie Garson, who adopted his now 10-year-old son, Nathen, from Los Angeles County foster care in 2010. Garson also will serve as the national spokesperson for National Adoption Day 2011.
“National Adoption Day is about raising awareness of the significant need to find adoptive families for the many children in foster care,” Garson said. “As an adoptive parent, I’ve not only changed the course of my son’s life, he’s given me more than I could have ever imagined.”
Garson first became interested in adopting after attending Los Angeles’ National Adoption Day in 2006 with The Alliance for Children’s Rights.
For more information about the events taking place locally and foster care adoption, please visit www.nationaladoptionday.org.
National Adoption Day Coalition Partners: Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Freddie Mac Foundation, Children’s Action Network, The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute and The Alliance for Children's Rights.