National Adoption Month: Why It Matters

Adoption is more important than you may think.

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Oliver Villarreal, Reporter

There are so many children that are left without parents, whether if the parents died or if they are simply unable to cared for a child. That’s why adoption was created- so that way kids who don’t have parents are able to be cared for.

National Adoption Day was started in 2000 by a coalition of national partners, which included The Alliance for Children’s Rights, Children’s Action Network, Freddie Mac Foundation and Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. By 2003, courts and community organizations in more than 120 jurisdictions coast to coast finalized the adoptions of 3,100 children and celebrated adoption. In 2004, courts and community organizations finalized the adoptions of more than 3,400 children from foster care in 200 events in 37 states.

Celebrated in various forms since 1976, when Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis declared Adoption Week for his state, the month is now observed nationally as “a month set aside to raise awareness about the urgent need for adoptive families for children and youth in foster care.”

“While there’s been lots of data kept on children coming out of foster care, and some on children adopted from overseas, there’s been little on domestic adoptions,” said Sharon Vandivere, a researcher for Child’s Trends, a nonpartisan Washington research group.

Called “Adoption USA,” a report was written by researchers at Child Trends and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It was based on questions in the first-ever National Survey of Adoptive Parents, a federal survey of 2,000 families that had adopted children through foster care, private domestic adoption or international adoption.

Researchers say the new survey shows that some of the lines that were thought to exist between the different kinds of adoptions are, in reality, pretty blurry. For example, said co-author Karin Malm, also of Child Trends, “The general feeling about the private domestic adoptions is the image of an infant being adopted. But quite a large number are older.”

Actress Kristin Chenoweth said, when writing for WhoSay: “I’ve always known that I was adopted. It was never a secret or held from me. I knew that my birth mother loved me so much that she wanted to give me a better life. And my parents, Jerry and Junie Chenoweth, were looking to adopt a baby and found me — literally less than one week after I was born. Whether we decide to become parents or simply volunteer our love and time, it’s our job as a community to take care of our kids. On National Adoption Day, I hope you remember just that.”