National Adoption Awareness Day
Adoption is a wonderful way to make a family! It gives young children a home, makes loving couples ‘moms’ and ‘dads’, fills empty arms with loving hugs, and can be the saving grace for the unborn. In short, adoption is a positive way to create a family. As we recognize November as National Adoption Month and mark National Adoption Day on November 22, 2014, we celebrate the thousands of American lives touched by this joining of hearts, while also advocating for the thousands more children and future ‘moms’ and ‘dads’ who await these wonderful opportunities.
As a representative who was blessed to become a mother through adoption, I am proud to be a strong advocate for pro-adoption legislation in Washington. In the 113th Congress, for instance, I have sponsored and co-sponsored bills that promote and protect adoption and the foster care system. I am a co-sponsor of the National Adoption Day Resolution that promotes national awareness of adoption and the children waiting for families. I also co-sponsored the Adoption Promotion Act, a bill my colleague, Congressman Billy Long, has put forward. The bill would require government funding for women’s health to cover professional adoption counseling and research programs to study the success of pregnancy options counseling. In addition, I introduced legislation that would strengthen the likelihood of adoptions lasting to permanency by improving some of the pre-adoption checks and processes. While this is a partial listing of some of the bills in this Congress that I have supported on this vital issue, one thing is for certain: I will never tire of advocating on behalf of children and families – it is a matter of the heart that I care deeply about.
We need to focus on adoption every month; not just during November. Every day, thousands of couples desire to become parents and to give children a permanent, loving home. This life-changing decision will have a profound impact on the lives of parents and of deserving children by giving them the resources to succeed in life. More importantly, that child can now rest assured that she will wake up every morning and go to bed every night with two parents that love her. We need more families to adopt and more birthmothers willing to make this life giving, life-affirming decision. Every child deserves a loving family.
Sometimes children are adopted at birth. Other times it occurs when children are older and have been in the foster care system. Sadly, nearly 400,000 children remain without a permanent, lasting family or home. This could be from abandonment, neglect, or abuse. The foster care system allows for a reprieve for children in need and has been the path for around two in every five adopted Americans. More than 100,000 children in the U.S. foster care system want to be adopted and are still awaiting their “forever family.” This is a tragedy that needs to be remedied.
Today, Missouri has over 10,000 children in our foster care system. 1,400 of these children and youth are available for adoption and waiting to be part of a loving family. Be a part of the solution. Join me in celebrating National Adoption Day on November 22nd! Visit www.nationaladoptionday.org to see how you can join the effort!