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Adoption Frequently Asked Question #13

Published: September 16, 2012


What/When is National Adoption Month?


November is National Adoption month, a month set aside to raise awareness about the adoption of children and youth from foster care.

The history of National Adoption Month dates back to the first major effort to promote awareness of the need for adoptive families for children in foster care. In Massachusetts, in 1976, Governor Mike Dukakis announced the first Adoption Week.

Governor Dukakis’ idea grew in popularity and it quickly spread nationwide. Later that year, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first National Adoption Week, and in 1995, under President Bill Clinton, the week was expanded to the entire month of November.

Each year since that time, a Presidential Proclamation launches activities and celebrations to help build awareness of adoption throughout the nation. Thousands of community organizations arrange and host programs, events, and activities to share positive adoption stories, challenge the myths, and draw attention to the thousands of children in foster care who are waiting for permanent families.

The Children’s Bureau, Administration on Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, along with its National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment at AdoptUSKids, take the Federal lead in initiating and supporting many of these activities that promote the adoption of children and youth from foster care into permanent, loving families.

For current information and resources about adoption and National Adoption Month, visit the website of Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service of the Children’s Bureau, at  http://www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/nam/.