National Adoption Month

November 8, 2010

National Adoption Month is my family’s opportunity to start our Thanksgiving celebration early. As the proud parents of Aidan, who is now six, and Deana, who is now four, Marcy and I have much to be thankful for. And, we show our gratitude by sharing our experience with others who are thinking of creating, or expanding, their own families.

National Adoption Month began in Massachusetts as National Adoption Week in 1976 and was expanded to include the entire month in 1995. According to information provided by the Child Welfare Information Gateway within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the theme of this year’s National Adoption Month is “You don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent” – the focus of the national adoption campaign and public service announcements produced in partnership with the Ad Council, AdoptUsKids, and the Children’s Bureau. This year, there are approximately 115,000 children and youth in foster care across our nation who need adoptive families.

Here in Connecticut, Governor M. Jodi Rell and the state Department of Children and Families (DCF) are taking advantage of National Adoption Month to focus attention on the children in our state who need forever families. As state DCF Commissioner Susan I. Hamilton noted, Connecticut is always in need of new would-be adoptive families to replace those who have recently, or soon will, permanently take a child into their homes. During this fiscal year, DCF finalized 690 adoptions. During the last fiscal year, DCF finalized 643 adoptions. It is worth noting that the time it takes to adopt in Connecticut has decreased; in 2009 it took an average of 33 months to adopt, while it took more than 36 months in 2008.

From my point of view, any month is a good month to consider adoption. However, November is a particularly good time to learn more about the process as so much attention is being focused on this wonderful way to create and expand families. Information recently released by Governor Rell’s office notes the many ways Connecticut is recognizing National Adoption Month, including:

  • Faith-based organizations across the state ringing the Bells of Hope on November 7th to draw attention to the need for more adoptive homes.
  • DCF and state Probate Courts celebrating National Adoption Day on November 19th by inviting the media to cover the formal legal proceedings that finalizes adoptions in Connecticut.
  • The Heart Gallery which features portraits of children awaiting adoption will be shown at various locations, including Mansfield, Waterford, Willimantic and Woodbridge.

More information on these activities is available at www.ctfosteradopt.com and, each day during November, a new adoption information resource will be made available on the Department’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ct.dcf. Also, more information about National Adoption Month is available at www.childwelfare.gov and at www.AdoptUsKids.org. Also, anyone interested in learning more about becoming a foster or adoptive parent can find out more by calling 1-888-KID-HERO.

Marcy and I know from our wonderful, personal experience that the heart does not know the difference between becoming parents through birth or adoption. In our case, we adopted our children when they were infants from South Korea. We have spent a lot of time with other adoptive families whose children began their lives here and in other nations. Some children joined their forever families as infants or as older children. Some have special needs. All of them bring a special joy to their parents, their siblings, and their extended families.

I always welcome the opportunity to talk about adoption and my family’s personal experience. I can be reached at my legislative office at 1-800-8423-1421, or via e-mail to [email protected]

Senator Rob Kane represents the 32nd Senatorial District, which includes the communities of Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Middlebury, Oxford, Seymour, Southbury, Thomaston, Roxbury, Watertown and Woodbury.