by Erika Weisensee, Oregon Mom
November is National Adoption Month, a time to recognize the millions of American adoptees, children awaiting families, and families touched by adoption. This year’s National Adoption Month initiative focuses on building capacity of adoption professionals to recruit and retain parents for the 107,000 children and youth waiting for permanent families in the U.S. foster care system.
Each year, American families become permanent families for thousands of children from the U.S. and from numerous countries around the world. According to the U.S. Department of Human Services, more than 57,000 children were adopted from state-run child welfare systems within the U.S. in 2009. In 2010, Americans adopted more than 11,000 from other countries, including China, Ethiopia, Russia, South Korea, and the Ukraine.
When a family decides to adopt, they have many issues and decisions to consider, including whether to adopt domestically or abroad, the age of child they’d like to adopt, special needs they may be willing to consider, and many other factors. Take it from me, the newly adoptive mother of a little boy from China, adoption is an incredibly rewarding and life-altering experience. Thousands of children in the U.S. and beyond await forever families. If you or someone you know is interested in adoption, begin with lots of research.
Many websites, such as http://www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/, provide current information on adoption. However, as we worked our way through the learning phase of the adoption process, talking one-on-one with adoptees and other adoptive families was the most helpful.