Each year, November is recognized as National Adoption Awareness Month. While all adoption-related issues are important, the particular focus of this month is the adoption of children living in foster care. In North Carolina, more than 10,000 children are part of the foster care system, including more than 2,000 children available and awaiting permanent adoptive families.
These children are in need of a family to love, nurture, and protect them. They come from a variety of backgrounds. Some have special needs, some are part of a sibling group, and many are older children or teenagers.
Often the public is unaware of these children and the realities of adoption. National Adoption Awareness Month provides organizations, including Children’s Home Society, with a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness.
CHS is North Carolina’s leading adoption agency completing four times more adoptions than any other private agency in the state – over 150 adoptions last year and more than 15,000 adoptions throughout its history.
CHS has several initiatives occurring throughout November to help raise adoption awareness, including our searchable online database as well as free information sessions for those interested in learning more about foster care and adoption.
Online Adoption Database
One key way CHS promotes adoption is through our online searchable database of waiting children at www.chsnc.org. This database can shorten the matching process for children by quickly connecting children with families interested in adoption. This database allows those interested in adoption to quickly, easily, and efficiently search for children who are waiting for a forever family.
Families can simply enter the characteristics of the child they are interested in and a list containing photographs and short biographies of matching children will be created. From there, families can view the children in greater detail by watching their “Stories From My Heart” video interviews.
The database can be accessed by visiting www.chsnc.org and clicking on “Meet Waiting Children.”
The CHS website contains a wealth of information to help families decide if adoption or foster care is right for them. The website also offers information about other programs—such as advice for birth parents considering adoption, information on upcoming parenting classes, and much more.
Free CHS Foster Care and Adoption Information Sessions
Anyone interested in finding out more about adoption or foster care is invited to attend one of the CHS information meetings across the state. In November these free, no obligation meetings will be held in Asheville, Charlotte, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Greenville, Morganton, and Wilmington. To learn more, contact CHS at 1-800-632-1400 or visit our website, www.chsnc.org and click on “Events.”
About National Adoption Awareness Month
The first major effort to promote awareness of the need for adoptive families for children in foster care occurred in Massachusetts in 1976, when then-Governor Michael Dukakis announced an Adoption Week. The idea grew in popularity and spread nationwide. In 1984, President Reagan proclaimed the first National Adoption Week, and in 1995, under President Clinton, the week was expanded to the entire month of November due to the number of states participating and the number of events.
Every November, a Presidential Proclamation launches activities and celebrations to help build awareness of adoption throughout the nation. Thousands of community organizations arrange and host programs, events, and activities to share positive adoption stories, challenge the myths, and draw attention to the tens of thousands of children in foster care who wait and hope for permanent families. National Adoption Day is November 21 which is observed in courthouses across the nation as thousands of adoptions are finalized simultaneously.