This month, hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals across the country are taking a moment to specifically celebrate adoption. November is National Adoption Month — an initiative that began with the United State Children’s Bureau. National Adoption Month has been embraced by adoption agencies, charitable organizations and families since it began in 1995.
But maybe it’s never been embraced by you, and we want to change that.
You may not have a direct connection to adoption. You may have never considered adopting a child. That’s okay, because the point of National Adoption Month isn’t to convince everyone to adopt. Adoption isn’t for everyone, but it is a beautiful act of love. This month is a great opportunity to spread awareness about adoption. It’s also a chance to take action.
Rather than simply spread the word about adoption — which is a great thing to do! — we’re going to give you three distinct ways to help the people involved in adoption: birth mothers, adoptive parents and children. You don’t have to be a part of the adoption triad to be involved in adoption. There are so many ways to help.
Helping Birth Mothers
Birth mothers are brave people. An expectant mother who chooses adoption for her baby is doing so out of love, because she wants to provide the best chance possible for her child to have a fulfilling life.
For decades, there was a social stigma about giving your child up for adoption. Today, that has mostly faded. However, many people still don’t understand that choosing adoption is a loving decision. This can be seen in the language we associate with adoption: “giving up.” When a mother chooses adoption, she is not “giving up” her baby at all. She is giving life. The first thing you can do to support birth mothers this National Adoption Month is to spread the word about how brave they are.
That may still seem intangible to you. You can support birth mothers in a more concrete way by finding a local organization that supports birth mothers. There are many services needed during pre-placement and post-placement for these women, and you can support those services through volunteering and donating.
Helping Adoptive Families
Did you know that the cost of adoption can range from $25,000–$40,000 on average? There are many reasons for this cost, like the legal and medical services involved in the adoption process. Most adoptive families need support outside of their own home to raise the funds necessary to complete an adoption.
There are plenty of ways to help adoptive families fundraise for adoption. You can donate to organizations that provide adoption grants, or you can give directly to a family pursuing adoption. There are hundreds of Go Fund Me, YouCaring and AdoptTogether pages for families. It may not seem like much, but a couple dollars from a hundred people can add up.
When you’re done giving, share the families’ stories on your social media. Use your voice to advocate for adoption and support families. You can really help people this National Adoption Month.
There are more than 400,000 children in the U.S. Foster Care System. The majority of these children still have parents, and the goal of their time in foster care is reunification. This means that, hopefully, they will be reunited with their biological family after a time apart. However, reunification is impossible for thousands of children who need adoption from foster care.
You can support children by volunteering with your local Department of Children’s Services. Each office will need different things, so we can’t say exactly how you’ll be helping. You can mentor a child in foster care by providing life guidance, school tutoring and other support that can make huge difference for a kid. You can provide respite care to parents and other caregivers, which can help them feel rejuvenated and ready to give all they’ve got to the children in their care. You can also donate needed materials to foster care organizations near you.
There are so many different ways to help. The important thing to know is that:
- You have the power to make a difference.
- There’s no better time than National Adoption Month to start taking action.
So, what are you waiting for? Make the most of National Adoption Month by spreading awareness and doing something to support the people involved in adoption.