NCJFCJ Observes National Adoption Month

November 1, 2016

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) is proud to support National Adoption Month. According the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 427,910 children were in foster care on September 30, 2015.[1] This number is an increase of the number of children in foster care in September 2014.

National Adoption Day is a nationwide effort to raise awareness of the more than 100,000 children in foster care waiting to find their permanent families and the more than 23,000 children that age out of foster care each year with no family.[2] The program launched in 2000 in nine jurisdictions and has since grown to include 400 cities and has helped almost 58,500 children find their forever family.[3] This year, National Adoption Day will be celebrated on Wednesday, November 16.

The 2016 National Adoption Month theme, “We Never Outgrow the Need for Family,” focuses on the importance of adopting older youth in foster care to allow them to form permanent family connections. The history of National Adoption Month began in 1976 when Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis announced Adoption Week in the state to promote awareness of the need for adoptive families, and in 1984, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the First National Adoption Week.[4] Then in 1995, President Bill Clinton expanded Adoption Awareness Week to the entire month of November 1995, and President Obama proclaimed November 2013 as National Adoption Month as well.[5]

The U.S. Children’s Bureau, an office of the Administration for Children and Families, reports adoption and foster care statistics based on data collected through the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS). Below are national trends related to adoption and foster care in the U.S.:[6]

  • 52,931 youth were adopted from foster care in 2015 (see page 3 of report, 102,798 is the case plan goal of adoption)
  • Adoptions accounted for 22% of the exits from foster care in 2015 (see page 3 of report)
  • Adoption is the permanency goal for 25% of children in foster care
  • More than half of youth adopted from foster care are five years old or younger
  • Married couples adopt approximately two-thirds of youth from foster care
  • In 2015, single females adopted 26% of youth from foster care
  • 52% of children adopted from foster care were adopted by their foster parents

For general information on adoption and foster care, please visit the resources listed below:

In addition to adoption, there are other ways of supporting children in need including:


[1] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau. (2015) The AFCARS Report. Available from http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/afcarsreport23_0.pdf.

[2] National Adoption Day, “About National Adoption Day,” http://www.nationaladoptionday.org/.

[3] Id.

[4] National Adoption Month 2016, “History of National Adoption Month,”  https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/nam/about/history/

[5] Id.

[6] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau. (2015) The AFCARS Report. Available from http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/afcarsreport23_0.pdf

 

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