Celebrating National Adoption Month
Parents and legal guardians can make a massive difference in a child’s life. From valuable life lessons, safety advice and just mental health, every child can benefit from a loving family. For this reason, throughout November, it is time to celebrate and spread awareness about National Adoption Month.
November Is National Adoption Month
Started under President Ronald Reagan in 1984, the initiative began as National Adoption Week. Created to increase awareness of adoption issues, the event included messaging outreach for both kids and adults.
Adoption can be a complicated issue, so this was an extremely important endeavor. For example, one of the larger initiatives was to bring attention to the need for adoptive families for teens in the foster care system. As the program continued, President Bill Clinton then proclaimed November as the first National Adoption Month in 1995.
Facts about Adoption
In the foster care system, there is a very serious issue of teens being passed over or left behind in favor of younger adoptees. The average age of all children waiting to be adopted was seven and a half years old. The Children’s Bureau aims to correct this unfortunate issue.
Recently, the Children’s Bureau has placed greater emphasis on teens. Teenagers in foster care tend to require lifelong connections and families. Steps must be taken to provide these kids with the help they desperately need.
According to Childwelfare.gov, there were over 114,000 children and youth waiting to be adopted who were at risk of aging out of foster care. To make matters worse, one in five children waiting to be adopted were teens.
- Twenty-two percent of the 114,000 children waiting to be adopted were aged 13 – 17.
- Eleven percent of the 54,200 children adopted out of foster care were aged 13 - 17.
To learn more about National Adoption Month and the Children’s Bureau, visit the official website.
A Family’s Value to Mental Health
As we’ve just passed Thanksgiving, many of us have had some time to spend with our loved ones. Sadly, for kids trapped in foster care, they don’t have such a luxury. Adoption can do wonders for these children.
Attentive, caring parents and guardians can play a crucial role for a child’s mental wellbeing. Beyond simple authority figures, children see their parents or guardians as confidants and role models. Through communication and mutual respect, this relationship plays a major role in forging a child’s mental health. Focused parenting can help guide a child away from negative patterns of behavior.
Over time, parents should learn to pick up on any potential red flags. These could include simple things like outright lies that a child tells. Below the surface, there are plenty of nonverbal cues to pay attention to as well. Children can often sense if their parents are actually listening or concerned about them.
Ideally, a home should be a safe, nurturing place where a child can feel free to express any feelings or situations. National Adoption Month is a great time to remind all parents of this important aspect of the relationship.