National Adoption Day

                November 22, 2014, is National Adoption Day, the culmination of the November month-long nationwide campaign to promote adoption awareness for kids in foster care.

History: It was President Ronald Reagan’s 1984 Proclamation that first established what originally was titled National Adoption Week.  Thereafter, a 1995 Proclamation by President Bill Clinton expanded this one-week spotlight to encompass the entire month of November. The year 2000 was the dawn of the inaugural National Adoption Day.

Outcome: Nationwide, since 2000, National Adoption Day-themed proceedings have brought some 50,000 kids out of foster care and into the enveloping arms of their forever families, a remarkable figure, indeed.  This month, in courtrooms around Tampa Bay (November 7th in Pasco, November 14th in Pinellas, and November 21st in Hillsborough) similar adoption celebrations will play out, forever families established for time immemorial. This November narrative happily will repeat in over 400 cities crisscrossing America, former foster children and their now forever families enriching the lives of one another.

Challenge: Over 102,000 foster care children are eligible for adoption, many of them siblings; in fact, this year’s National Adoption Day and Month theme is “Promoting and Supporting Sibling Connection.” In his Adoption Proclamation, issued October 31, 2014, President Barak Obama issued a call to action for all of us to get these brothers and sisters, these brothers and brothers, these sisters and sisters, adopted and into the same loving home. Outside of parents, a child’s most enduring and lasting relationship is with his/her sibling(s). Sadly, and through no fault of their own, these foster care kids have lost that parent connection.  A sibling may be all that this wonderful child has.

Certainly, this may not always be the case and maintaining-or in some instances originating-sibling relationships may not be in the child’s best interest. The dynamics of every situation merit individual attention, no question.  Overall, though, generally speaking, siblings support one another and should be given very opportunity to grow up under the same roof.

Each November, our county shines its brightest spotlight on adoption, the focus of this year’s campaign being siblings. Yet, as every dedicated adoption professional knows-and I proudly count myself as a 30-year member of this group-this work is 24/7/365. Whether it is you adopting a sibling group from foster care or you getting the word out, raising awareness, these precious kids need you.

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