National Adoption Month Page
~November is National Adoption Month~
One of the visitors to my
pages was kind enough to
The History of Adoption Month
Formalized, time-specific adoption awareness campaigns originated more than 20 years ago. In May 1976, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis issued the first state Adoption Week proclamation, and President Ford then officially proclaimed the week in a letter to the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) conference held later that year. As years went on, Adoption Week came to be observed during the week of Thanksgiving in November.
In 1986, NACAC helped coordinate a national "Calling Out" event based on an idea from Larry Gellerstein, then president of the Adoptive Parent Committee of New York. That year groups across North America braved late November weather and simultaneously assembled on state and provincial capitol steps to read statements about waiting children, and call out the names of waiting children in their state or province. Two years later, President Reagan proclaimed National Adoption Week, and in 1991 and 1992 President Bush also issued proclamations.
In 1990, NACAC decided to expand opportunities for raising awareness, and began advertising Adoption Week as National Adoption Awareness Month (November). The idea has quickly caught on, and since he has been in office, President Clinton has issued Adoption Month proclamations every November.
In 1996, NACAC kicked off an exciting federally funded Adoption Month project. With funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and support from the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (and Wendy's International, Inc.), we printed and distributed posters featuring waiting children from across the United States, and organized a weekend of fun and media exposure for children from the poster in Orlando, Florida. Through the Adoption Month grant, and continuing support from the Dave Thomas Foundation, we produced Adoption Month posters in 1997 and 1998 as well.
Since the beginning of 1999, NACAC's Adoption Month activities have been funded through a cooperative agreement with the Childrens Bureau (within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). Through our Adoption 2002 Support Project-which aims to help adoption agencies find ways to recruit adoptive families and further the public's adoption awareness-NACAC is continuing to produce annual Adoption Month posters that are distributed to Wendy's restaurants, libraries, child care centers, state child welfare agencies, and others.
The posters feature a toll-free phone number (for the National Adoption Center). Individuals who call 1-800-TO-ADOPT in response to the posters then receive a description book that contains pictures and profiles of the children on the poster, contact information for each child, and a summary of the special needs adoption process.
The Adoption Council of Canada also works with Wendy's to produce a Canadian Adoption Month poster.
In addition to the poster and description book, NACAC produces the National Adoption Awareness Month Guide, which features information on how individuals and groups can raise adoption awareness and celebrate adoption in their communities, churches, schools, and homes during November and year round.
For more information about the Guide, the poster, and other Adoption Month activities, contact the NACAC office at info@NACAC.org.
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