History of National Adoption Month

National Adoption Month has been celebrated for 19 years. Explore the history of National Adoption Month in this section.

Early Days

  • 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
  • President Reagan proclaimed the first National Adoption Week.

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

    President Clinton
  • 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

Efforts to use the Internet—and social media—in adoption recruitment and retention continue today.

Celebrating National Adoption Month

Every November, a Presidential Proclamation launches activities and celebrations to help build awareness of adoption throughout the nation. Thousands of community organizations arrange and host programs, events, and activities to share positive adoption stories, challenge the myths, and draw attention to the thousands of children in foster care who are waiting for permanent families.

National Adoption Month Today

This year's National Adoption Month initiative emphasizes the importance of sibling connections for the 102,000 children and youth in foster care waiting for adoptive families.

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