November is National Awareness Month. During the month of November we celebrate and raise awareness of adoption. While every type of adoption is celebrated, the particular focus this month is to raise awareness about the urgent need for adoptive families for children and youth in foster care. The history of National Adoption Awareness Month dates back to 1976 when the Governor of Massachusetts announced the first Adoption Week. This idea grew in popularity and quickly spread nation wide. In 1995, President Clinton expanded the week to the entire month of November.
During the month of November, people across the nation raise awareness of adoption and hope that awareness of adoption encourages others to open their homes to children waiting for a forever home. Also, this month includes National Adoption Day, which is usually observed in courthouses nationwide, where thousands of adoptions are finalized on National Adoption Day,. COVID has put a damper on some state’s celebrations, but we are hopeful that there will still be energy around this important cause around November 21, this year’s National Adoption Day!
Here are some ways you can celebrate National Adoption Awareness Month:
Retell your adoption story. Sharing the story of your adoption or the adoption of your child can help to spread awareness, and educate others. Just don’t forget if you’re an adoptive parent that you should do this while at the same time protecting your child’s story.
Spread awareness on social media. Social media is an effective way to increase awareness about adoption. You can include the hashtag #NationalAdoptionMonth in your posts to participate. Since awareness is the primary purpose of the campaign, something as simple as sharing a post on social media to alert friends and family of the cause, can be beneficial. For my family,, we will be participating in Gift of Adoption’s Go for the Gift, a virtual 5K/10K and Fun Run where all the money raised will go towards grants for families adopting the most vulnerable children, and participants across the country will be posting about their run/walk on social media. I will be doing it with my extended family on Thanksgiving weekend, so stay tuned for photos from our walk. On World Adoption Day on November 9th, adoptive families across the world will also be celebrating with a happy face on their hand, or some choose to put other adoption symbols that day to recognize adoption, but also that there is pain and loss inherent in it.
Celebrate your child’s heritage. There are many things adoptive parents can do to encourage pride and awareness this month. Maybe it is retelling your adoption story to your child or making a point to read all the adoption books you have collected with your child. If your child through adoption is of a different heritage/nationality, maybe you cook a traditional dish with your child to celebrate his or her heritage. You can also play traditional games or activities and make holiday crafts to demonstrate appreciation for different cultures.
Educate yourself or people around you about adoption. Continue learning about adoption by either reading books or watching movies related to adoption or even attend adoption related events. There are so many great adoption professionals and perspectives on adoption that will be using this month to educate about all aspects of adoption, from the perspective of the adoptee, the birth mom and the adoptive family (typically called the adoption triad). We hope that you’ll use this month to learn from all three perspectives, and not just from adoptive families who have dominated this space.
Follow along with us this November. Last November, we did a blog series where we took a chronological look at the domestic adoption process from start to finish, identifying resources and ideas to help along the way. For those of you who are considering adoption or are currently waiting, you might benefit from scrolling back and reading through those posts if you haven’t been following us that long. This year, we’ll be focused on highlighting some of our favorite resources for both prospective adoptive families and families that are already formed through adoption. We hope you’ll enjoy what we share!