November 2019Vol. 20, No. 9November Is National Adoption Month
According to the 25th Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System report, there were over 123,000 children and youth waiting to be adopted as of September 2017, 11 percent of whom were between the ages of 15 and 17. All children need stable and caring families to guide them into adulthood, and older youth are much less likely to be adopted than younger children.
The theme of this year's National Adoption Month initiative is "Youth Voices: Why Family Matters." It highlights the need to ensure the voices of older youth are heard and they are engaged in planning for their own future. It is important for older youth to consider all their options—whether they decide to pursue adoption or alternative permanency options, such as guardianship.
The National Adoption Month 2019 website features tools and resources aimed at increasing adoption of older youth currently in foster care. The website includes a section dedicated to providing adoption- and permanency-related resources and tips for families, including families considering adoption and families who have adopted. The website also supports child welfare professionals in preparing families for adoption and talking with older youth who may feel they are too old to be adopted.
Youth, families, and professionals can also visit the website to do the following:
- Watch and listen to personal stories and share the examples of older youth in foster care finding permanent families through adoption
- Learn ways to help involve, support, and empower older youth in foster care to prepare and plan for their future
- Read the tip sheet Belonging Matters—Helping Youth Explore Permanency for help in talking with older youth about adoption and the importance of family
National Adoption Month, supported each November by the Children's Bureau, is a partnership between AdoptUSKids and Child Welfare Information Gateway.
Visit the National Adoption Month website throughout November at https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/nam.