National Adoption Day: It’s not about a holiday; it’s about people.

The Adoption Journeys program would like to remind everyone that National Adoption Month is November and National Adoption Day is celebrated on November 19th, 2016.

National Adoption Month is a collective national effort to raise awareness of the more than 101,000 children in U.S foster care who are waiting to join a new family. Currently, a child waits an average of 3 years for an adoptive family. Nationally there are over 23,000 young people who age out of the DCF system on an annual basis without ever having found a new family to join.

This November, the Adoption Journeys program will be recognizing the adoptive families we work with. We are also inviting you to find ways to recognize adoptive families. For every adoptive family, waiting child, or family waiting to adopt, the process represents a special and unique journey.

Why is it important to find ways to recognize adoption? Adoptive families report that they often feel invisible or stigmatized due to forming their family through adoption. They also report feeling isolated within their communities. When children and families feel less alone; they begin to feel more hopeful of being ready to write the next chapter of their story. Being able to write that next chapter is what allows families to tell the unique story of each member’s hopes and dreams for the future. Your recognition of adoptive families can go a long way to supporting the development of strong and successful adoptive families.

How can you acknowledge families formed through adoption? Some suggestions are: Identify ways to gather with others to recognize a family’s journey into being. A brunch or a gathering may work for some; while working quietly and purposefully on a Lifebook or journal may be better for others. Consider posting articles, sharing resources, or simply putting something in your waiting room. No matter what form the acknowledgment takes, showing your support to those who identify as adoptive families is empowering and validating for both parents and children in your community.

Adoption Journeys is proud to be a part of Child and Family Services. We are the only statewide program in Massachusetts that provides post adoption support, and we offer one of the most comprehensive and inclusive services of all programs nationwide. If you would like more ideas for recognizing National Adoption Day, please contact any of our regional offices or call our statewide number 800-972-2734 or visit the National Adoption Day website http://www.nationaladoptionday.org/news/