COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On November 17, nearly 4,500 children were adopted by their forever families during the 13th annual National Adoption Day celebration in almost 400 cities across the United States. Thanks to the efforts of adoption advocates, policymakers, judges and lawyers, approximately 44,500 children have been adopted from foster care on National Adoption Day since it began in 2000.
"There are a lot of things that people argue about in Washington D.C., but the fact that children need and deserve a family is not one of them," said Kathleen Strottman, executive director of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute and member of the National Adoption Day Coalition. "This year, the President, 46 Governors, 44 Representatives and 15 Senators came together in support of the goals and ideals of National Adoption Day."
Celebrated annually on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and held during National Adoption Month in November, National Adoption Day is a collective effort to raise awareness of the more than 100,000 children in foster care waiting to find permanent, loving families. It is also a day to draw attention to the nearly 30,000 children each year who turn 18 and age out of the foster care system without families to support them in the future.
Elected officials from across the country have put politics aside to express their support for National Adoption Day. President Barack Obama issued a proclamation in support of the day, as have past presidents.
"I am so grateful for efforts like National Adoption Day to promote national awareness of adoption," said U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss.), whose own family has been touched by adoption. "Every child deserves a loving family. Every child is adoptable. I'm so proud that nearly 4,500 children now have their forever families thanks to this year's National Adoption Day celebration."
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), a founding member of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute and an adoptive parent, said, "Efforts like National Adoption Day are vital to raising awareness of the millions of children both domestically and internationally waiting for their forever families. Each year, one in four foster youth 'age out' of the foster care system with no place to call home and no family to support them. Thank you to each and every family who has generously opened its heart and home to a child in foster care."
There is still much work to be done. There are more than 100,000 children in foster care waiting to be adopted. The National Adoption Day Coalition created the One Day Project [http://www.nationaladoptionday.org/one-day-project] to give hope to children waiting in foster care, and to encourage others to adopt. The coalition is asking families, adoptees and adoption advocates to submit a short video about their adoption story, a few words of encouragement, or why they support National Adoption Day.
For more information about National Adoption Day, adoption from foster care, and the One Day Project, please visit nationaladoptionday.org.
National Adoption Day Coalition partners: Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Freddie Mac Foundation, Children's Action Network, Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute and The Alliance for Children's Rights.
SOURCE National Adoption Day Coalition