History of National Adoption Month

For over two decades, National Adoption Month has been promoted and celebrated every November in communities across the country. Many national, State, and local agencies as well as foster, kinship care, and adoptive family groups will help spread the word through programs, events, and activities that help raise awareness for thousands of children and youth in foster care who are waiting for permanent, loving families.

Read below to learn how National Adoption Month started and grew to what it is today. 


  • 1970
  • 1976

    Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis announced an Adoption Week to promote awareness of the need for adoptive families for children in foster care.

    Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis
  • 1980
  • 1984

    President Reagan proclaimed the first National Adoption Week.

    President Reagan
  • 1990
  • 1995

    President Clinton expanded the awareness week to the entire month of November.

    President Clinton
  • 1998

    President Clinton directed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop a plan to expand the use of the Internet as a tool to find homes for children waiting to be adopted from foster care.

    President Clinton
  • 2000
  • 2008

    President Bush provides an explanation of National Adoption Month in Spanish.

    President Bush
  • 2010

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