How Has Adoption Touched Your Life?
Although Love Without Boundaries is not an adoption agency, many of the children we have the honor of working with will be adopted, and many of us who work with LWB have been touched by adoption. It is our belief that all children deserve a permanent family. We are passionate about special needs adoption and helping children born with medical needs, which makes the month of November extra important to us since is it National Adoption Awareness Month. November 19, 2011, marks the 12th National Adoption Day in the U.S.
In recent years we have established an Adoption Advocacy and Assistance team within LWB in order to help advocate for children who are in LWB programs and waiting for adoption, as well as answer basic questions regarding adoption. In honor of Adoption Awareness Month in the U.S., LWB wants to raise awareness of ALL of the children waiting to find permanent homes and loving families in the U.S. and abroad and also let you know a little bit more about China’s Waiting Child Program.
A child who is waiting is one who is currently in foster care or orphanage care. This child is available and ready for adoption in the eyes of their guardian, which in the U.S. is typically the state, and abroad is possibly the orphanage or the government agency which regulates adoptions. We advocate for these waiting children in particular because there are so many children who are without an advocate, a nurse, a support system, a teacher – and especially, without a parent. All children deserve these things and so much more, and we want to help give them a greater chance of receiving them through their own families.
AdoptUSKids and the North American Council on Adoptable Children are two great resources for information about adopting and advocacy for children in U.S. foster care. These groups have been working in the U.S. for years to promote ethical, stable adoption practices and to protect the best interests of the child in finding a nurturing and permanent family through adoption.
The China Waiting Child Program includes children up to the age of 13 who have known medical needs or who are considered older and therefore harder to place. These children live all across China in a variety of orphanage or foster home settings. Families can learn about China’s adoption program through the following sites:
*China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCCWA) — Eligibility requirements for the Waiting Child Program could vary slightly depending on the placement agency, but the eligibility requirements established in writing by CCCWA are outlined here on their website.
* U.S. Department of State Intercountry Adoption — Specific information about waiting child adoption can be found under How to Adopt: Requirements for Adopting Children with Special Needs or Medical Conditions.
LWB has developed a site, Adoptspecialneeds.org, where we provide both videos and information about medical needs and special needs adoption that we hope are a good resource for prospective families. When we have funding available, Love Without Boundaries provides adoption assistance grants to children who are currently waiting and in need of extra assistance to receive a permanent loving family.
During this special month, we hope you will choose to celebrate adoption with us. Celebrate those who have been blessed by adoption, as well as those who make adoption possible. We can do this by raising awareness about adoption and the children in need of families among our friends and coworkers and through social media. Adoption is a wonderful thing — an amazing way to grow your family. And while we know that adoption is certainly not a path for every person, we also know that everyone benefits from becoming more aware about adoption. On the topic of the blending of families through adoption, Adam Pertman, an adoption expert and Executive Director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, once said, “This affects whole communities, and as a consequence our sense of who we are, what we look like, as a people, as individual peoples. These are profound lessons that adoption is teaching us.”
Let us all open our hearts and minds to learning about and bringing awareness to adoption.
Here are some things that you can do on your own to raise awareness of adoption for yourself and others:
* Learn positive adoption language.
* If you have a blog, write a post about Adoption Awareness Month.
* Share this blog post through your Facebook page or Twitter feed.
* If you have been thinking about adopting, go to an informational meeting in your area.
* Become an adoption advocate! Check out adoptivefamilies.com for more information.
We would love to hear how adoption has touched your life or how you plan to raise awareness about adoption this month!