November is National Adoption Month! We invite you to recognize and celebrate families that grew by adoption while raising awareness about the urgent need for permanent homes for children and young people in out-of-home (foster) care.
National Adoption Month, initiated in 1976 by Governor Dukakis and formalized by President Clinton in 1995, is an annual campaign sponsored by the Children’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with Child Welfare Information Gateway and AdoptUSKids.
This year, the campaign theme is Every Conversation Matters. Sharing the message about the need for families is critical, yet how information about the adoption experience is shared can have a significant impact on children and young people. This theme is particularly important for adolescents and young people in need of a forever family and a permanent home.
Every child with adoption experience has a story. Helping youth find their voice and the words to tell their story may be hard, but it also unlocks the potential to learn who their important mentors and supports are and may potentially uncover adoption resources.
With approximately 970 Maine children currently entering a relative’s home for placement from out-of-home care and 300 adoption legalizations annually, there are likely children in your school and classroom who are personally affected by adoption. There are great opportunities to provide parents and children with foundational language and resources that can barrier-bust long standing assumptions about adoption.
How you can help:
- If you are an educator and are looking for support in navigating the complex social narratives, beliefs and questions the adoption experience often elicits (think family tree assignments), visit looking for tips and starting points to address those issues with your students, visit https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/adopt-parenting/school/ or https://www.americanadoptions.com/blog/
- If you are an educator working with young children visit https://adoptionnetwork.com/ for helpful tools and resources. Or consider teaching a lesson about famous adoptees who have made a difference in the world. Even a small lesson can be incredibly useful in changing people’s opinions about how adoption really works — and promote tolerance among your students for those who may be affected by this process.
- If your goal is to get actively involved in this important need, you may remain connected and informed throughout the month by following #AFamilyForMeMaine and #NationalAdoptionMonth on Facebook and raise awareness by asking friends, family and colleagues to join you.
- Join the Poster Campaign: What Adoption Means to ME – Download this poster to find out more.
If you want to explore becoming an adoptive parent in Maine, please call A Family for ME at 1-844-893-6311 or visit https://afamilyformemaine.org/ to get started today.