November is National Adoption Month, a time to raise awareness about the thousands of children in the U.S. looking for an adoptive family and celebrate the thousands of families that have been formed by adoption. Every year, Acenda’s Foster, Kinship and Adoption Counseling Services work with hundreds of youth in foster care with the goal of adoption or who have been adopted.
Even if you have not been personally affected by adoption, you can celebrate National Adoption Month. Here are five ways you can participate in National Adoption Month.
1. Share information about National Adoption Month on social media.
Follow Child Welfare Information Gateway on Twitter or Facebook and share using the hashtags #NAM2019 or #NationalAdoptionMonth. This helps spread awareness of children who need permanent families and celebrates the families that have adopted.
2. Encourage your child’s school or your local school district to be sensitive to children who are adopted or are waiting for adoption.
Click here for a great resource for teachers and educational professionals.
3. Incorporate adoption positive language in your everyday life.
Take time to use terms such as “birth parent” rather than “real parent” and “made an adoption plan” rather than “put up for adoption." This helps adoptive families and children feel more comfortable sharing their story with you if they choose to. Click here for a great resource on adoption positive language.
4. Do you know a family formed or forming by adoption? Celebrate that family by sending them a card, flowers, or balloons during National Adoption Month.
Commemorate their adoption finalization with a gift that promotes family bonding, such as parenting or children’s books about adoption, or a family membership to a local museum or zoo. Some of our favorites books are:
- Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew by Sherrie Eldridge.
- Twenty Things Adoption Parents Need to Succeed by Sherrie Eldridge.
- Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow by Gregory Keck and Regina Kupecky.
- Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis.
- The Invisible String by Patrice Karst and Joanne Lew-Vreithoff.
- The Family Book by Todd Parr.
5. Consider becoming a foster or adoptive parent or supporting others who are doing so.
Click here to learn more about becoming a foster parent in New Jersey.