November is National Adoption Month!

Nov 1–30

The number of children and youth waiting for adoption continues to rise, and as of September 2017, there were more than 123,000 children in need of permanent homes. Teens between the ages of 15 and 17 spend 50 percent more time waiting than younger children. These youth need stable and caring families to help guide them into adulthood, yet they are much less likely to be adopted than younger children.

That is why the Children’s Bureau has designated this year’s National Adoption Month as a time to share resources that encourage young people to consider how important a family can be even after they become adults.

This year’s theme, “Youth Voices: Why Family Matters,” encourages communities to involve teenagers in planning for their future and help them to consider all their options—whether they decide to pursue adoption or alternative permanency options, such as guardianship. Any teen who has spent time in foster care has a unique and valuable perspective that all professionals can learn from to help us shape and improve our programs and practices.

What can you do to promote permanency for teens in care?

  • Engage young people in foster care in their own permanency planning and talk with them about what family means to them.
  • Plan an event in your community in conjunction with National Adoption Month to help increase awareness about the need for adoptive families for older youth.
  • Spread the word about the need for adoptive families for youth. Talk to your networks and encourage them to support young people in foster care through mentoring, volunteering, or becoming a foster or adoptive parent.

Visit the 2019 National Adoption Month website to find resources to support your work and information to share with families.

National Adoption Month is an annual initiative of the Children’s Bureau.