At any given time, there are 100,000 children in foster care who are waiting to be adopted. That is 1/4th of the foster population! In effort to raise awareness to the children up for adoption, Together We Rise is celebrating National Adoption Awareness Month this November in hopes to bring more awareness of the adoption community.
Massachusetts began celebrating “Adoption Week” in the 1980’s, but as more states caught on, the week was expanded nationally by President Gerald Ford in 1990. Eventually, November was declared as National Adoption Awareness Month. Every year, beginning with Bill Clinton in 1995, the President of the United States proclaims November as National Adoption Month to encourage awareness. Along with this, one Saturday in November is chosen as National Adoption Day. In 2016, thousands of adoptions will take place on Saturday the 19th in celebration of this month.
Although all adoptions are important, November specifically focuses on adoption from the foster care system. During this month many adoptions from foster care will take place, but the celebration is also meant raise awareness. Understanding that not everyone can be foster parents, National Adoption Awareness Month focuses on supporting adoptions from foster care. How can you support National Adoption Awareness Month without being a foster parent? Together We Rise researched a few ideas on how you can raise awareness!
-Research foster care in your area by Googling foster care numbers in your state, county, and city. How many children are up for adoption in your area? Are there any statistics that stand out to you?
-Find out what is needed on the national, state, and city levels. There are many issues throughout the foster care system, so find out what is needed to change adoption efforts. Are there any initiatives that need more support? Are there any foster homes or agencies that can use your services? Check at the county and city level to see where your help is needed.
-Are you a photographer? Donate your skills to a family who is going through the adoption process. Visit https://www.togetherwerise.org/adoption-photographer.php to see if adoption photographers are needed in your area.
-Donate to TWR. We support foster care throughout the United States. As a nonprofit, Together We Rise reinvests 91% of its funds to help children in foster care. Visit https://www.togetherwerise.org/donate to give and see where your donations are going.
-Change the conversation by being mindful towards foster and adoptive families. Do you find yourself saying “real parent” or “foster kids” ? To some, this language can be hurtful and inconsiderate. There are many ways you can change your language to be more respectful to foster families and children who have been adopted. Do you hear other people using this language without realizing it can be hurtful or offensive? Let them know in a respectful way. Here is a useful chart regarding adoption language.
-Contact your local government and see if they’re being proactive towards foster and adoption. If there aren’t any notable efforts, start your own! Contact your city officials or state congress members. Many people in office aren’t aware of local issues, so it's your job to bring awareness.
-Speak out! Dedicate your personal blog or Facebook statuses to foster care during the whole month of November! Advocate in your community and share your efforts with others. Begin an online campaign, an email chain, or go out in public to spread the word!
-Start a TWR fundraiser by visiting https://www.togetherwerise.org/fundraiser. Here you can create a campaign page and raise funds for children in foster care!
Are you adopting in November? Visit https://www.togetherwerise.org/adoption-photographer.php to find an adoptiong photographer in your area!