National Adoption Day reaches beyond courtrooms

The 11th annual National Adoption Day took place last Saturday, November 20th.  This year brought a number of new accomplishments to this national effort.  This year alone, more than 4,800 children were adopted on National Adoption Day–more than any year before!  Nearly 400 events took place across the country.  While judges, social workers, attorneys, CASAs, volunteers, and most importantly adoptive parents worked together to ensure successful events; celebrities, elected officials, and pro sports are now realizing the importance of this day.

For the first time ever, all 50 governors issued National Adoption Day and National Adoption Month proclamations along with numerous mayors of cities across the country.  President Obama issued his annual proclamation.  State courts, state legislatures, and city councils passed National Adoption Day resolutions.

Once again, the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives both passed National Adoption Day and Month resolutions with a total of 75 original co-sponsors.

Several elected officials expressed their support by attending events, such as Gov. Deval Patrick of Mass., or by writing op eds such as Rep. Jim Cooper of Tenn., or by issuing press releases, such as Sens. James Inhofe and Mary LandrieuLt. Gov. of New Jersey, Kim Guadagno opened up about her own adoption in an op ed she wrote for the day.

Academy Award nominated screenwriter and actress Nia Vardalos participated in the Los Angeles event by sharing her personal foster care adoption story.  Actor Willie Garson also shared his story of adopting his son from foster care.  Nia served as spokesperson this year, and participated in several interviews on the topic.

The Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, kicked off National Adoption Day by finalizing two adoptions from the D.C. foster care system on Friday, Nov. 19th.  One boy was a 17 year-old who was being adopted by his friend’s mother.  He went on to share what his adoption day means to him through his blog post.

The New Orleans Saints also recognized the importance of the day by playing the National Adoption Day PSA and announcing to the 70,000 fans present at their November 21st game about the need to step forward and make a difference in the life of a child.

Numerous TV stations across the country featured stories about local families’ adoption on National Adoption Day.  In Atlanta, one boy shared what his adoption means to him. “There is no sadness here,” he said of his new home.

While 2010 presented many new successes for foster care adoption, there is much work to be done.  Thank you all for your efforts surrounding National Adoption Day.  We are looking forward to even more forever families to celebrate next year!

For the official National Adoption Day press release, click here.

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The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to raising awareness about the millions of children around the world in need of permanent, safe, and loving homes and to eliminating the barriers that hinder these children from realizing their basic right of a family.

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