By C.N. Staff Writer
November 23rd marked the District’s 27th Annual Adoption Day. The annual ceremony, which took place at the D.C. Superior Court, saw over 20 adoptions finalized across the city. The event is held yearly, the Saturday before Thanksgiving and similar celebrations took place in various states across the country, all apart of the National Adoption Day.
The District’s ceremony brought many family members and public officials to celebrate children finding permanent homes. All children adopted in the city within the last year were invited to attend along with their families. Children were introduced to the audience with their adoptive families as a judge signed their adoption orders. The children adopted ranged in age from less than one to 20 years old. District U.S. Representative Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton said, “These saddest of statistics in our country give us all the more reason to be thankful for what these parents are doing today.” She said these families are giving a priceless gift to children. “Thank you for that gift,” she said.
Mindy Good of D.C. Child and Family Services said, “We have wonderful young people in the system who, when they talk about their aspirations, your heart just opens up.” In the District, home to 2,797 children in the welfare system, city officials say they are looking for parents for 123 children.
The National Adoption Day Coalition estimates that 4,500 adoptions were finalized this year at nearly 400 events across the country. According to the U.S. Administration for Children and Families, nearly 400,000 children are in foster care in the United States, and of those, about 100,000 are waiting to be adopted.
National Adoption Day is a collective national effort to raise awareness of the more than 100,000 children in foster care waiting to find permanent, loving families. This annual, one-day event has made the dreams of thousands of children come true by working with policymakers, practitioners and advocates to finalize adoptions and create and celebrate adoptive families.
In total, National Adoption Day helped nearly 44,500 children move from foster care to a forever family. Communities across the county celebrate the Saturday before every Thanksgiving. In 2012, adoptive families took in more than 4,500 children during the 13th annual National Adoption Day celebration in almost 400 cities across the United States.
At the D.C. event, social workers were on hand to answer questions about how to become a foster or adoptive parent and the ceremony featured lunch and entertainment. The court’s adoption day is also a chance for prospective families to learn more about the process of adoption and to hear from some of the approximately 160 children who are currently available for adoption.