National Adoption Awareness Month: Part II
Eight years ago my unwed daughter had a heavy decision to make, to keep her baby or to place the baby with a loving couple. My husband and I counseled her that placing her baby for adoption would be the best for the two of them. Our daughter knew we would love and support her in whichever decision she would make. She made the most difficult heart wrenching decision to place the baby for adoption.
We recently discussed with our daughter how differently her life and the life of her birth child would be had she decided to raise the child herself. Though a difficult journey it was for our daughter and all of us involved, her decision to place her baby was a blessing to both of their lives.
We are extremely grateful for those who are trained to assist in and carry out the process of adoption.
A loving birth grandmother
How it all Started with Michael Dukakis
In 1976, the governor of Massachusetts, Michael Dukakis, announced an Adoption Week for his state. Later that same year President Gerald Ford proclaimed that Adoption Week would be celebrated nationally. As more and more states started to participate in Adoption Week it became clear that more time was needed for holding events and in 1990 National Adoption Week became National Adoption Month.
Today National Adoption Month is celebrated during the month of November. The celebration usually includes National Adoption Day with courthouses throughout the nation participating and hundreds of adoptions being finalized simultaneously.
NCFA's Landmark Adoption Factbook IV reports significant rise in domestic and international adoptions, despite further decline in infant adoptions.
July 24, 2007 - Alexandria, Va. - Comprehensive research on statistics and trends in American adoption reveal a rise in both domestic and intercountry adoptions from 1996 to 2002. Data and analysis from a nationwide adoption survey conducted by the National Council For Adoption show a 26.3 percent increase in the total number of adoptions, from 119,766 adoptions in 1996 to 151,332 in 2002. However, in spite of this encouraging rise in total adoptions, domestic infant adoption placements declined further since last measured in 1996, according to this landmark study in NCFA's Adoption Factbook IV, and many hundreds of thousands of children are waiting to be adopted out of foster care or languishing in orphanages around the world.
Adoption Factbook IV reports adoption data that enable readers to better understand current trends in adoption.
There were 130,269 domestic adoptions of children by relatives and non-relatives in 2002, up from 108,463 in 1996. Adoptions from other countries increased significantly from 11,303 to 21,063 during the same period.
The number of public agency adoptions increased dramatically from 24,366 in 1996 to 42,942 in 2002, reflecting encouraging increases in the number of children being adopted out of foster care. However, the most current foster care data show a total number of children waiting to be adopted from foster care exceeding 114,000.
Domestic infant adoptions declined 5.3 percent from 23,537 in 1996 to 22,291 by 2002.
There were 16.3 infant adoptions per 1,000 non-marital live births in 2002, down from 18.7 in 1996. Unmarried mothers chose adoption for their infants in 2002 at the rate of 1.6 percent.Ã¯Â¿Â½ Infant adoptions per 1,000 abortions declined from 19.4 in 1996 to 17.0 in 2002.
These data appear alongside thought-provoking articles, written by today's preeminent adoption authorities, discussing the most pressing issues facing adoption, such as:
Findings from America's leading adoption-openness researchers that the development of adoptive identity is not significantly correlated to level of openness and that the research recommends no "one-size-fits-all" openness policy;
Policy proposals to better serve children in foster care through greater flexibility in federal foster care financing, increased attention to the crucial, neglected strategy of parent recruitment, and juvenile and family court improvement through court performance measures and judicial leadership;
A critical look at proposed reforms to the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children as a missed opportunity to improve the broken process of adoption across state lines; and
Analysis of a comprehensive survey of American public attitudes toward infant adoption compiled by one the nation's foremost polling organizations; extrapolating from the survey,Ã¯Â¿Â½ 10 million couples of parenting age in the United States would seek to adopt an infant if they felt they had a realistic opportunity to do so.