Answering the Call
Each year, November is recognized as National Adoption Awareness Month. While all adoption-related issues are important, the particular focus of this month is the adoption of children currently in foster care. Today, more than 114,000 children in the U.S. foster care system are available for adoption. These children entered foster care through no fault of their own, as victims of child abuse, neglect or abandonment and their birth parents’ legal rights have been terminated. All children deserve loving, permanent homes which is the motivation behind Five Acres foster to adopt programs and why we join in the national effort of honoring adoptive families as well as bringing awareness to the need for adoptive families.
Activities and celebrations are kicked off with a Presidential Proclamation as an effort to acknowledge current adoptive families and to motivate others to consider adding to their family through adoption. Below is an excerpt from our president’s proclamation:
Giving a child a strong foundation -- a home, a family to love, and a safe place to grow -- is one of life's greatest and most generous gifts. Through adoption, both domestic and international, Americans from across our country have provided secure environments for children who need them, and these families have benefited from the joy an adopted child can bring. Thanks to their nurturing and care, more young people have been able to realize their potential and lead full, happy lives. This year, we celebrate National Adoption Month to recognize adoption as a positive and powerful force in countless American lives, and to encourage the adoption of children from foster care.
Currently, thousands of children await adoption or are in foster care, looking forward to permanent homes. These children can thrive, reach their full potential, and spread their wings when given the loving and firm foundation of family. Adoptive families come in many forms, and choose to adopt for different reasons: a desire to grow their family when conceiving a child is not possible, an expression of compassion for a child who would otherwise not have a permanent family, or simply because adoption has personally touched their lives. For many Americans, adoption has brought boundless purpose and joy to their lives. We must do all we can to break down barriers to ensure that all qualified caregivers have the ability to serve as adoptive families.
As we observe National Adoption Month, we honor the loving embrace of adoptive families and the affirming role of adoption in the lives of American families and our country. Let us all commit to supporting our children in any way that we are able -- whether opening our hearts and homes through adoption, becoming foster parents to provide quality temporary care to children in crisis, supporting foster and adoptive families in our communities and places of worship, mentoring young people in need of guidance, or donating time to helping children in need. Working together, we can shape a future of hope and promise for all of our Nation's children.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2010 as National Adoption Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month by answering the call to find homes for every child in America in need of a permanent and caring family, as well as to support the families who care for them.
Each year, more children enter the system than are adopted. The typical child who has been freed for adoption is at least 8 years old, moves three or more times in foster care, may have been separated from siblings, and will wait five years or more to be adopted. Tragically, tens of thousands will never be adopted and will leave the system at age 18 without families.
National Adoption Awareness Month, celebrated annually since 1990, works to increase the number of families willing to consider foster care adoption and celebrates the unique joys of creating families through foster care adoption.
Marianne Guilfoyle L.C.S.W., Five Acres Adoption Program Supervisor/APSS Program Manager (909) 293-7855