In addition to being National Homemade Bread Day and National Hiking Day, today, the Saturday before Thanksgiving, is National Adoption Day. An adoptee myself, this topic is close to my heart. In addition to me, my parents adopted three other children from China – my almost-same-age sister and two younger brothers.

A decade or two ago the majority of children in the Chinese orphanage system were girls due, of course, to the one-child policy.^{[1]} More recently orphanages have witnessed a decrease in girls and an increase in special needs children, though the number of girls adopted still heavily outweighs the number of boys ^{[2]}; between 1999 and 2017, 85.1% versus 14.9%.

foster care
Photo credit Joanne Rathe at the Boston Globe

In America, over 117,000 foster children wait for a forever family. Though programs like Baby Boxes or statutes like Safe Haven Laws provide parents in America the means to safely and anonymously abandon a child, most children today do not come to foster care that way. More often than not, the state wrests a child from his parents because of abuse, neglect, or ineptitude.^{[3]}

In 2017, 437,465 children lived in foster care ^{[4]}, of which about 107,000 were eligible for adoption. In 2016, the state placed about 60% of children in foster care because of neglect. While the number of adoptions has increased and the amount of time a child spends in the foster care system has decreased, the fact remains that too many children do not have a loving and supportive home.

adoption
Photo from Proper Parenting Guides

National Adoption Day ^{[5]} began in 2000 as a collective effort of several national partners to promote the needs of the nation’s foster children. Since its start, nearly 70,000 foster children have found their forever families.

I admit, adoption is not for everyone, but everyone can help with adoption, whether by raising awareness about foster care adoption or sponsoring a child. In the words of a pastor at my church, “Every child should have someone in their who knows his name, knows his story, and is praying for him.” Children in families need more caring adults ^{[6]} in their lives than just their parents; how much more so for children without!

adoption-from-foster-care-575x385
Photo from AdoptUSKids

Learn more about domestic adoption and foster child sponsorship with the resources below.

  • The Adoption Process – Adoption has five basic steps: choose the type, find an agency, complete a home study, wait for placement, and finalize.
  • Adoption Statistics – This infograph reveals the number of foster children, the rate of adoption, the average length of foster care for a child, and other statistics.
  • Aging Out of Foster Care – LifeSet Network provides resources and support for American youth who have aged out of the foster care system.
  • Donate for a Foster Child – Contribute to help give a foster child a bike, a birthday box, and other gifts.
  • Donate to Foster America – Foster America is an organization of professionals dedicated to improving the foster care system.
  • Foster Care Closets – Foster care closets are charities that collect clothing and other items for foster children.
  • Meet the Children – AdoptUSKids has a database for the thousands of children in America who need forever families.
  • Myths About Foster Care Adoption – Scroll to the second half of the page for a list of debunked adoption myths about expense, agencies, and more.
  • Planning for Adoption: Knowing the Costs and Resources – Depending on the type of adoption and agency chosen, domestic adoption costs range from $0 to $40,000.
  • Student Care Packages – Send a care package to a foster youth in college.
[1] Reynolds, Emily. “The harrowing reality of China’s one-child policy.” Wired, 30 Oct. 2015, URL.
[2] “Adoption Statistics.” Travel.state.gov, U.S. Department of State, n.d., URL.
[3] User: Aurora. “#National Foster Care Month: Why Children End Up in Foster Care.” A Family for Every Child, 23 May 2018, URL.
[4] “Stats Show That Our Nation’s Foster Care System is in Trouble.” National Council for Adoption, 4 January 2018, URL.
[5] “About National Adoption Day.” National Adoption Day, n.d., URL.
[6] “Caring Adults.” America’s Promise Alliance, n.d, URL.