Posted by Betsy Hochberg

A mother and her young daughter.

This November, Jewish Family & Children's Service joins families around the U.S. in observing National Adoption Awareness Month. The mission of this annual event is to spread awareness about adoption and to acknowledge those people whose lives have been touched by adoption. At JF&CS, we have helped families grow through adoption for more than one hundred years. We continue to build strong families through our program, Adoption Resources.

The History of National Adoption Awareness Month

The origins of National Adoption Awareness Month can be traced back to Massachusetts in 1976, when Governor Mike Dukakis proclaimed the first week of November as "Adoption Week." In 1984, President Ronald Reagan made this a national effort and it was observed in all other states as well. Around a decade later, President Bill Clinton officially expanded National Adoption Week to an entire month. The mission of this observance continues to recognize the many families that have grown through adoption and to acknowledge the number of children still waiting for families in the foster care system.

Lifting Up Youth Voices

The theme for this year's National Adoption Awareness Month is "In their Own Words: Lifting Up Youth Voices." Although the Adoption Resources program of JF&CS only places newborns for adoption, we celebrate all children who have joined their families through adoption and recognize the significance of birthparents in an adoptee's life story. The stories shared by young adoptees teach us a great deal as they reflect on their families by birth and adoption. Those same stories remind us of the ways in which young people contribute to our knowledge of this exciting process and the life-long journey of adoption.

About Adoption Resources

The Adoption Resources program of Jewish Family & Children's Service assists individuals and couples that make the decision to grow their family through adoption. We work with all families regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity. For more information about our comprehensive services for birth and adoptive parents, visit our Adoption Resources page.

Betsy Hochberg, MSW, LICSW is Director of Adoption Resources, the adoption agency of JF&CS. She has held this position for the past 16 years and worked in the adoption field for 25 years. She is a clinical social worker and an adoptive parent. Betsy is a board member of the Adoption Professional Association of Massachusetts (APAM) and actively involved in Resolve of New England.