5 Ways To Raise Awareness Of National Adoption Month
National Adoption Month (NAM) began in 1976 when a legislator introduced the concept of a National Adoption Week to raise awareness of the need for permanent placements for children in foster care. These efforts were widely supported and in 1995 the awareness week became an awareness month.
The movement has been widely embraced by the adoption community even though the creation of NAM was originally intended to focus on foster care. The Children’s Bureau, a division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, releases a yearly topic that is highlighted throughout the month. This year’s NAM theme brings awareness to older children who have lingered in foster care and are ready for a permanent and loving home.
Learn the ways you can celebrate, promote and help raise awareness of National Adoption Month during November.
Ways to celebrate National Adoption Month for professionals:
- Share via social media. While this isn’t exactly reinventing the wheel, it truly is helpful! Consider promoting the Children’s Bureau hashtags, as well as your own, created specifically for National Adoption Month. This year’s national hashtags are #NAM2019 and #nationaladoptionmonth
- Share and educate others about issues in the adoption world that are near and dear to your heart. Remember, it doesn’t have to be revolutionary. For instance, maybe explain the adoption triad and what it stands for. Most people have no idea what the triangle symbol with the heart on it means. It is super easy to use social media to create teachable moment posts. These are especially great for those in the community who have not been touched by adoption.
- Reach out to check on birth mothers or advocate for a support group for birth mothers in your community.
Ways to celebrate National Adoption Month for adoptive parents:
- Invite a prospective adoptive/foster family over to share a meal.
- Ask your local library to celebrate National Adoption Month by featuring books in the children’s section that promote a positive message related to adoption or that feature adoptive families.
- As we approach Thanksgiving, consider ways that you can give thanks to those who helped you while you were in process. Perhaps write a letter to the judge who finalized your adoption or your caseworker.
- Take a few days to celebrate your child’s heritage. Head over to Pinterest for ideas on dinners and crafts from your child’s culture that your family might enjoy cooking or making together.
- If appropriate, talk to your older child about planning a homeland journey and take the first steps!
- Find a mentor for your child via an adult adoptee. If your family has grown through trans-racial adoption, find a racial mirror for your child.
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Promote adoption awareness on social media.
- Share insight into your journey via social media and welcome questions from families who are considering adoption.
- Post a link to the adoption agency you used or an adoption related website that you found to be helpful. Let everyone know why you enjoy working with a group or how any site is helping you in your own journey.
- If you’ve adopted an older child, please share your story! Remember that it’s okay to be candid with those considering this path. It is such a unique journey, so let your voice be heard!
Honor your child’s birth parents to celebrate National Adoption Month.
- Honor your child’s birth parents in a way that is appropriate for your family. Maybe it’s just a candid discussion and a candle lit to remember them. If you have a semi-open or open adoption, take a day to send your child’s birth parents a special care package. Let them know how much you appreciate them.
- Spend time with your child to look over their Lifebook and discuss their adoption story. If your child doesn’t have a Lifebook, National Adoption Month is the perfect time to start making one together!
Ways to celebrate National Adoption Month for anyone!
- Reshare a friend’s post that speaks to their personal adoption journey.
- Did you know that adoptive families often do not share the same benefits at work as biological families? The discrepancies are typically seen in leave and financial assistance. Learn more about your employer’s adoption benefits. Advocate for employers to offer benefits that mirror those offered to biological families.
- Consider becoming a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) or serving a similar organization in your community.
- Teach your children how to talk about adoption and about families that don’t ‘match’.
- Consider contributing to a family who is fundraising for their adoption. Help them relieve the burden of growing their family without going into debt because adoption is expensive.
- There are numerous organizations that have great, ready-made posts for social media. The Children’s Bureau is a great place to start.
About the author:
I hope you have found some useful information here! I am so excited to be writing a guest post for National Adoption Month, because adoption is so close to my heart.
My name is Sarah Clements! I’m a BabyQuip Quality Provider, a caseworker for a domestic adoption agency, and an adoptive parent. As an adoptive parent and professional, I understand the financial impact adoption expenses and related travel can have for adoptive families. I am happy to say that BabyQuip is offering a discount for families who are traveling to adopt. Keep reading!
Bonus for adoptive parents!
Please use the code ADOPTIONMONTH at checkout to receive $20 off your BabyQuip order of $100 or more. The code is valid throughout National Adoption Month (11/1 – 11/30) and applies to first time customers only. The order total must equal $100 or more for discount to apply. We understand that many families anticipate well over a week for travel, paperwork, and awaiting ICPC clearance. Baby gear reservations of ten days or more automatically receive a discount at checkout. (Both promos apply to adoptive parents!)
Thanks for stopping by and celebrating National Adoption Month with us!
Sarah Clements is a BabyQuip Quality Provider, a caseworker for a domestic adoption agency and an adoptive parent. As an adoptive parent and professional, Sarah understands the financial impact adoption expenses and related travel can have for adoptive families. She aims to make the process easier for adoptive parents.