National Adoption Month: A Presidential Proclamation

November 12th, 2009, by BRANDY HAGELSTEIN

Each year, the President of the United States issues a proclamation that sets aside November as National Adoption Month. In addition to the presidential proclamation, many state governors also issue proclamations, in an effort to raise awareness of the need for loving and permanent homes for children in their states.

National Adoption Month, which was originally put in place to make adoption from the foster care system an important social issue, has now become the one month in which members of the adoption community come together in an effort to raise awareness about the different types of adoption and share their experiences.

With well over 100,000 children currently waiting for a forever family to call their own, the need for homes for children in the U.S. foster care system is great. But the need doesn’t stop there.

Globally, there are an untold number of children who will never have a family to call their own. For that reason, National Adoption Month has evolved into a movement that raises awareness for not only children in the U.S. foster care system, but also for children around the world who are waiting for a family.

There are a number of things you can do to help children in the U.S. foster care system, even if you can’t provide a permanent home for a child in need.

Consider volunteering as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) — a non-legal advocate who gives a voice to children in the court system and makes recommendations based on the best interest of the child.

Become a licensed respite provider, offering short-term or temporary care for children in the foster care system who need a place to stay for anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks. Typically, respite care is provided to children who are currently in a long-term foster placement, but for whatever reason, the foster family needs to have the child cared for by someone else for a period of time.

Contact your local or state agency and find out where they have the greatest need.

In addition to the things you can do in the United States, there are a number of opportunities to help children in other countries as well. When donating to help orphans in other countries, make sure to research the charity you are considering. There are a number of reputable and trustworthy nonprofit organizations based in the U.S. that provide for the basic needs of orphans from across the globe; so finding something that fits your needs shouldn’t be a problem.

If you’re interested in providing a loving and permanent home for a waiting child, the Photolisting features more than 3,000 children currently waiting for a family.

To learn more about becoming a licensed home for a waiting child in your state, contact your local state agency or complete the Homestudy Assistance Form and someone from your area will contact you to tell you how to get started.

Brandy Hagelstein is the Director of Social Media and Web Content for She is an adopted adult, a birth mother and has served as a licensed foster care provider. She writes about her experiences on

Last modified: May 4, 2011 at 9:58 pm