Every Conversation Matters
NOVEMBER IS NATIONAL ADOPTION MONTH
By Jeanne St. Onge
National Adoption Month, recognized each November, is an initiative of the Children’s Bureau that seeks to increase national awareness of adoption issues, bring attention to the need for adoptive families for teens in the U.S. foster care system, and emphasize the value of youth engagement.
National Adoption Month first gained momentum in 1976, when Mike Dukakis, Governor of Massachusetts, initiated Adoption Week in an effort to promote awareness of the need for adoptive families. By 1984, it had become such a popular event that President Gerald R. Ford announced Adoption Week as a national event.
Adoption week continued to grow and become so widely recognized that in 1998 President Bill Clinton extended the week to an entire month, initiating the National Adoption Awareness Month that we celebrate today.
This year, efforts are focused on adoption for teens because teens in foster care wait longer for permanency and are at higher risk of aging out than younger children. Teens need love, support, and a sense of belonging that families can provide. Securing lifelong connections for these teens, both legally and emotionally, is a critical component in determining their future achievement, health, and well-being.
A single conversation can make a difference in achieving more positive outcomes for teenagers. That’s why the Children’s Bureau is recognizing the importance of having authentic conversations and encouraging teens to harness their voices with this year’s National Adoption Month theme, “Every Conversation Matters.”
Visit the website to learn more about National Adoption Month and find tools and resources to educate yourself and your community about how we can achieve better outcomes for children and youth in need. Start the Conversation & Help Youth on Their Path to Permanency. #NationalAdoptionMonth #ConversationsMatter