For the past year, CEO Michael Piraino has been a featured blogger at the Huffington Post. His latest post focuses on the issue of adoption, in commemoration of both National Adoption Month (the month of November) and National Adoption Day, which will be celebrated on Saturday, November 19.
I can practically guarantee that you know somebody who was adopted. A survey by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute found that 58% of Americans knew someone who was adopted. Maybe that person was you, one of your parents or one of your children. Or maybe you have a friend, a co-worker, a colleague or a schoolmate who grew up in an adoptive home.
It’s possible that your favorite artist, writer or musician was adopted: A small sample of celebrity adoptees includes Steve Jobs, Sarah McLachlan, Darryl McDaniels (aka DMC, of the rap group RUN-DMC), Faith Hill, James Michener, Jesse Jackson, John Lennon, Malcolm X, John Hancock, Edgar Allen Poe and Langston Hughes. Even two presidents have shared this experience: Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton (who established the first National Adoption Month in 1995).
The act of inviting an adopted child into one’s life is not made easily. About one in three Americans has considered adoption, but far fewer actually follow through and become adoptive parents. For those who are adopting children from foster care, the challenges are magnified. On my wall is a photo of me with two brothers I met at the White House during one National Adoption Month celebration. They had been hoping to be adopted, but had had several possible homes fall through. I’ll never forget how those two wonderful kids went up to everyone in the White House and explained that they could be part of their families.
Read the piece in its entirety at the Huffington Post.
National CASA has a number of resources on its website to help child advocates and others understand issues related to adoption.
- Listen to a two-part interview with the founders of Ampersand Families, an organization which supports and recruits permanent families for older youth: part one and part two.
- Read the cover story from the Winter 2010 issue of The Connection written by Rita Soronen, executive director of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.
- Read the article by Dallas CASA’s director of recruitment and training, Ben Wilkins, discussing the importance of foster-adopt placements in moving children toward a permanent home.