National Adoption Day to Help Foster Children Find Homes
Thousands of unique families across the country will be celebrating the weekend before Thanksgiving as National Adoption Day takes place. This year it falls on November 19th, and it is held on the Saturday prior to Thanksgiving each year. On this day foster families, courts and community programs work together to help thousands of children find permanent homes through adoption. Adoption families are also recognized and celebrated for helping children find a caring and supportive environment. The day falls in the middle of National Adoption Awareness Month, where local and national charities work to increase the public awareness of the over 100,000 children currently in foster care.
Over 350 local events are held each year on Adoption Day to help families finalize their adoptions or to bring adopted children together to have fun. The Dave Thomas Foundation, created by the founder of the Wendy’s chain, helped start the annual event. The first event took place in November 2000, and the event has helped over 35,000 kids find a new home since then. Foster care is a precarious life that is full of disruption due to movement within the system. Most children move at least three times to different homes or families, and few siblings get to stay together. 28,000 children exit the system at 18 without any support network or guidance to help them become successful adults.
The event is being promoted by Willie Garson, the actor from the White Collar television series, who adopted his son Nathen after attending a National Adoption Day event in 2006. Foster families have been increasing in the past few years, but most foster homes handle multiple children and don’t have enough time for the kind of personal support that a permanent family offers. Many children are also left to grow up in group homes with far less personal contact due to living in an area with limited foster opportunities.