Thursday, November 12, 2009

National Adoption Month

When most people think about November, they think about pumpkin pie, turkey and Thanksgiving. But November is also National Adoption Month. While most people are familiar with traditional routes of domestic or international adoption, many are unaware of the option to become a foster parent. There are about 129,000 children waiting for adoptive families in the United States foster care system. Did you know it would take less than one percent of the U.S. population to provide a forever family for every child in foster care available for adoption?

What exactly is foster care? Foster children have been removed from their birth families due to neglect and/or physical, sexual or emotional abuse. When the children are removed from their care, parents are provided help so that they can safely parent their children. Slightly more than half of children who go into foster care return to their birth families. But with assistance, if the parents are still unable to parent safely and their children remain in foster care for 15 of the most recent 22 months, the state terminates the parents’ rights and the children then become available for adoption.

serves to recruit and connect foster and adoptive families with waiting children throughout the United States. Funded by the Children’s Bureau of the Administration for Children and Families, AdoptUsKids is a national photolisting website, containing photos and information about children in foster care. The AdoptUsKids website provides loads of helpful information from the generalities about foster parenting to individual state adoption guidelines to guiding prospective adoptive parents along the seven-step process in the Foster Care journey. You can even search for children in your area who are in need of an adoptive or forever family.

In partnership with the Children's Bureau and the Ad Council, AdoptUsKids has developed public service announcements to raise awareness about the number of children in foster care waiting to be adopted. The latest series of ads target the African-American community, as African-American children often wait the longest to be adopted in comparison with other races/ethnicities. Approximately 31% of children in foster care waiting to be adopted are African-American. You can now view this award-winning campaign on the AdoptUsKids website.

Fostering can be a rewarding experience but it may not be for everyone. That doesn't mean you can't still be an advocate for these children in need. You could consider providing respite care for families or reach out to your state representative to get more information. There are many ways to get involved or offer support in honor of National Adoption Month.

To keep up on the latest information about foster parenting and adoption, I encourage you to follow @perfectparent on Twitter and become a fan of AdoptUsKids on Facebook. Tweet or post to spread the word about this service and help find a child a home for the holidays.

If you are interested in becoming a foster parent yourself or want to speak to someone about the adoption process, you can call AdoptUsKids at 1-888-200-4005.

Disclaimer: I was given this campaign information due to my membership in the Global Influence, the former Momfluence network. I was not compensated in any way for this post.


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