November has become a special month for families across America, it is recognized to be a time to celebrate a unique and diverse way to create a family. The original idea of a recognized adoption awareness week happened in 1976 by Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis. In 1984, President Reagan proclaimed the first National Adoption Week. As more and more events were happening around this special period, it became clear that a week was not enough and in 1995 President Clinton made November National Adoption Month. (Adoption & Beyond, 2013)
Adoption has been around as long as humans have been alive. The history of adoption is ever changing and even before it had an official term and was openly celebrated. Adoption provided a way for parents who could not care for their children to place them in homes with willing and waiting parents. (American Adoptions, n.d.)
In the United States there are over 400,000 children in foster care. As reported by the Anne E. Casey Foundation Kids Count Data Center in 2017, the state of Michigan had just under 12,000 kids in care. Gratiot County is not exempt from this horrible circumstance and 77% of the youth in care are under the age of 8.
The main message behind the
National Adoption Month
is awareness: hundreds of thousands of children spend their days in the foster care system, waiting for their forever families to find them. So what can be done? Gratiot County is in desperate need of families that are willing to open their homes and support these children through the process of the child welfare system. If you would like to know more information about fostering, visit the Foster Care Navigator at
. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is another excellent way for people to advocate and give children a voice while the system is working on a permanency plan. CASA is a very unique volunteer opportunity where people who have a passion for helping children go through a specialized training learning how to ensure that a child's needs and best interests are look after.
If you are not able to open your home or volunteer there are other ways you can help. You can sponsor children through various programs, you can donate dollars for direct needs and best of all you can educate. Spread the word about our most vulnerable populations.
To learn more how you can help contact Child Advocacy.
Adoption & Beyond, Inc."The History of National Adoption Month."
Adoption & Beyond, 10 Dec. 2013, adoption-beyond.org/the-history-of-national-adoption-month/.