My wife and I are very blessed to have four children that have enriched our lives. Being a parent brings great responsibility, but it is a joy that I hope that those who wish for it are able to experience.
That being said, it is an unfortunate truth that there are more than 107,000 children in foster care in the U.S. that are eligible for adoption. These children are waiting to find permanent homes and loving families. In an effort to bring awareness to this fact, November has been named National Adoption Month; and through the work of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, November 19 is National Adoption Day.
On Saturday, November 19, more than 400 events will be held nationwide to finalize the adoptions of children in foster care, and to celebrate all of the families who adopt. For 13 years this event has been made possible by the work of courts, judges, attorneys, adoption professionals, child welfare agencies and advocates to make the dreams of thousands of children come true.
Most children wait more than three years to be adopted in foster care and in that time they change schools, lose relationships and fall behind in their education. Each year more than 29,000 youth ‘age out’, or reach legal adulthood at the age of 18, without finding a permanent family and home.
Of those that age out, nearly 25 percent leave foster care without a high school diploma and a mere six percent finish a two or four year degree. Children need emotional and financial support to have the chance to succeed and these children were given very little opportunity for that.
Families provide the love and support that allow us to lead happy and productive lives. There are many children waiting for the opportunity to love and be loved and to have a successful life.
If you have ever considered the possibility of adoption, or would like to learn more about the process, I encourage you to visit www.in.gov/dcs and click on ‘Adoption’ in the left side column. If you’d like to learn more about National Adoption Day, please visit www.ccainstitute.org and under the ‘Our Programs’ tab click on ‘National Adoption Day’.