Happy adoptive family gathered on a bedEach November, National Adoption Awareness month is celebrated nationwide. This month, I encourage you to take some time to recognize the importance and value of adoption. Some experts estimate that 100 million Americans have either been touched by adoption. Adoption is truly an essential part of our culture.
A little history on National Adoption Awareness Month: in 1976, Governor Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts declared an official Adoption Week. His goal was to promote awareness of the need to find permanent families for children in the foster care system. His idea was widely acknowledged by the public. Then, in 1995, President Clinton made November National Adoption Awareness month. Clinton also encouraged using the Internet as a tool for bringing parents and children together in forever families. It was around this time that my adoption center, Lifetime Adoption, first appeared on the web. We were one of the first adoption companies to do so.
Once November was declared National Adoption Awareness month, adoption finally was able to receive the acceptance and appreciation it deserves. It also made people focus on the education about well-being of adopted children. Open adoption has become accepted as the best type of adoption for adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoptees. Adoptive parents no longer felt the need to hide from their children that they were adopted. Adoption is something to be proud of; not a secret to hide. Children’s books began to appear to teach young children about their adoption. Adoption support groups and playgroups began nationwide.
Adoption expert Mardie Caldwell with a successfully adopted babyCurrently, I feel that we are so blessed that adoptive families are normalized. There’s no “normal family” template for what a family should look like. Families come in an array of races, ages and backgrounds. There’s also much more educational info out there for adoptive parents. I’ve written three books with this goal in mind: Adopting Online, Adoption: Your Step-by-Step Guide, and Called to Adoption.
I encourage you to celebrate and honor your own adoption experience. If you’re waiting to adopt, or living your “dream-come-true”, now is the time to promote adoption awareness among your own family, friends and colleagues! Share your own family’s adoption story. Join an adoption support group. Your personal journey can give others encouraging views on adoption as a way to start or build a family.
You can find creative ideas on celebrating National Adoption Awareness month at NationalAdoptionAwarenessMonth.com. If you’d like to start your journey towards adopting a baby or child, please call Lifetime Adoption Center at 1-800-923-6784 or visit LifetimeAdoption.com.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on November 7, 2015, and has since been updated.