This Saturday is National Adoption Day in the United States. On this day courts and communities finalize adoptions of many children who are living in foster care. Over 100,000 children in foster care wait for a 'forever family'.
Since 2000 the Saturday before Thanksgiving has been National Adoption Day. Since that time more than 35,000 children have been adopted out of the foster care program. Last year alone there were 375 events with 4,800 finalized adoptions in every state of the union. The event is supported by a coalition of national partners; The Alliance for Children’s Rights, Children’s Action Network, Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, and Freddie Mac Foundation.
The children that find a forever family are the lucky ones. Children find themselves in foster care at no fault of their own. Often the victims of abuse, neglect or abandonment these children often wait for an adoptive family for more than three years. Eleven percent will wait longer than five years. The average age of a child waiting to be adopted is 8.
A little over half of adopted foster care kids are from their former foster parents. Only 15 percent are adopted from non-relatives who are not their former foster care parents.
In 2007 a national survey found that 48 million Americans have considered adopting from foster care.
Many believe that it is too expensive to adopt a child from foster care. The reality is there is very little cost. Most agencies do not charge when a child is in the system. The federal government also provides a tax credit to adoptive parents, the maximum of which is $11,390.
Many of the children in the system linger, denied living in the same home with their siblings in far too many cases, until they turn 18. Once a foster care child has reached the milestone of their 18th birthday they are pushed out of the system and left to take care of themselves without a support system.
On average 28,000 children face this harsh reality every year.
For more information log on to www.nationaladoptionday.org or simply call 1-800-ASK-DTFA.