National Adoption Month
THE HISTORY OF NATIONAL ADOPTION MONTH
In 1976 Massachusetts governor Mike Dukakis established Adoption Week in his state. The concept, geared toward drawing public attention to the need for adoptive families and support for organizations that promote adoption, quickly spread across the country. In 1984 President Ronald Regan declared the first National Adoption Week which was then extended to the entire month of November by President Bill Clinton. Since that time, the Children’s Bureau, in conjunction with Child Welfare Information Gateway and AdoptUsKids, lead the charge each November in raising awareness of the need for families who choose to adopt.
NOT JUST FOR BABIES
For many, the thought of adoption conjures images of bringing home a new baby with still forming traits that can be molded to fit the shape of an already established family. For some, the idea of adopting a toddler or young elementary student seems to fit more closely to their dreams – no sleepless nights, yet still young enough to learn the routines and beliefs of their home. However, according to AdoptUsKids, nearly 20,000 youth will leave foster care having never known the security and love of a stable home. With no one to call for guidance or help, these teens are left to find their own way in a world that has already dealt them some pretty devastating blows.
As recently as 2017, research showed that around 60% of children in foster care are over 10 years of age, and the chances of that child finding a family who will choose to bring him or her into their family permanently shrinks with every passing year. Children who age out of foster care are at a significantly higher risk of lower education, unemployment, young parenthood, and homelessness. Yet, the support and guidance of one caring parent can change that trajectory for these young people.
MANY MORE FIRSTS
While an adoptive family may not get to celebrate many of the first developmental milestones with an adopted teen, there are still so many milestones and benefits that come with inviting a teen to become a part of your family. From first cars, proms, and high school graduations to college, first jobs, and even the celebration of starting a family of their own, adoptive parents can count on many of the same beautiful ups and downs with their son or daughter. An additional consideration for potential adoptive parents is the teen’s choice to be adopted. Teens 14 years and older have input as to the family they will join, so you can have the assurance that your new son or daughter chose to be a part of your family, just as you chose to invite them in.
ADOPTION ATTORNEYS CAN HELP
Whether you choose to adopt an infant, adolescent or older teen, there are a wide variety of resources available for those interested in adoption. The attorneys at Hall & Navarro are the leading adoption attorneys serving the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit (Bulloch, Effingham, Screven, and Jenkins counties). Martha Hall and Paige Navarro have experience helping families who are ready to grow through adoption. Call today to schedule your appointment with an experienced lawyer to help you work through the adoption process.