November is National Adoption Month

Article by: Mpho Benitsius

Adoption is the social, emotional, and legal process in which children who will not be raised by their birth parents become full and permanent legal members of another family while maintaining genetic and psychological connections to their birth family. Adoption has many facets and touches people in different ways—depending on their role and perspective.

National Adoption Month is about spreading awareness. It is a month to encourage others to learn about adoption, to hold adoption related events, and to acknowledge the people in this country whose lives have been impacted by adoption. The mission of National Adoption Month is to celebrate the families who have grown through adoption, and to recognize the many children who are still waiting for forever families.

During National Adoption Month, individual people, families, businesses, communities, private and public organizations all celebrate adoption, and encourage it as a positive way to grow families.
Across the country, events and observances like volunteer recruitment, recognition dinners, fundraising drives, community activities, and other special occurrences take place. These events highlight the month’s mission, spread awareness, honour people who have made a difference, and support those involved with the system. National Adoption Day also occurs during National Adoption Month. Typically held on a Saturday, National Adoption Day is observed across the country in court hearings, where thousands of adoptions are finalized simultaneously.

However, birthmothers who may be living in poverty and who find themselves unable to adequately support a child (or an additional child). In this case, the birthmother may choose to place her child up for adoption and hope that a family in better financial circumstances will provide that child with a good life. In some cases birthmothers feel that they are still young for such a huge responsibility and feel they are not ready therefore they handover their babies for adoption to have a better life with families who want them.

A couple from the East Rand, who asked to be anonymous adopted two(2) boys, one of them was a new born baby who they held in their arms immediately after he was delivered and the couple immediately fell in love with him. Their reason to adopt was because the wife who is 37 years old cannot conceive and she got a confirmation from different doctors that she will never be able to have kids of her own. “It was the most painful thing I had to hear and accept. I always pictured myself pregnant as a girl growing up and would tuck pillows under my jersey pretending to be pregnant, and that was a great feeling, however in reality I never got the chance to experience all of that but I am grateful I can still play a role of a mother” She said. She continued and said, "My husband and I adopted both of our boys. We met our older son's birth mom when she was about 3 months pregnant. It gave us some time to develop our relationship with her, and she ended up deciding that she wanted us at the hospital when she gave birth. Fast forward to the day and we waited in the waiting room while she was giving birth. There was no one else giving birth at that time, so we actually heard his first cry from the waiting room. Her mother immediately came and got us and the birth mom insisted that we be the first to hold him. It was amazing."

The couple enjoys everything about parenting and says their boys are a blessing and changed their lives drastically. They are currently planning to adopt a baby girl and looking forward to it. People choose to adopt for many reasons, and the process can take many directions once it begins. As is the case with any family situation, there will be issues that need to be addressed and worked through from the time the child enters the family until the family system dissolves away with time and age. However, with education, hard work, and desire, adoptive families and children make it through the grand process and become the family that they dreamed of being for so long.

Overall, National Adoption Month is to shine a national spotlight light on adoption. More specifically, it is celebrated to:

• Honour families that have grown through adoption.
• Recognize the hundreds of thousands of children waiting for permanent families.
• Spread awareness.
• Advocate for the wellbeing and future of children in foster care.
• Encourage our neighbourhoods, communities, cities and states to take a stand.
• Ask our business and companies to support adoption.
• Provide everyone with the opportunity to get involved.

Whether you are pursuing adoption, currently fostering, or simply a supporter of the cause, everyone can be a part of National Adoption Month If you are interested in in being involved, read on for a list of suggestions. If you're considering adoption or fostering:

• Reach out to a family you know who has adopted or fostered to learn more about their experience.
• Attend an Adoption Month activity in your area. • Join a support group for potential adoptive parents. If there isn’t one in your area, start one.
• Sign up online for adoption newsletters or e-magazines.
• Start a blog that shares your journey towards adoption or fostering.
• Connect with other families through online forums to discuss your experience and share support.
• Start an adoption baby book, photo album, or journal to share with your future child one day.
• Attend an adoption finalization of a friend or family member.
• Check out books from the library on adoption or foster care parenting.
• Research the different types of adoption, and discuss what method would be best for your family.

Every child deserves a warm and loving home, consider adoption and change a life.