Do you know what Babe Ruth, Debbie Harry, Malcolm X, Steve Jobs, Marilyn Monroe, Dr. Ruth and Faith Hill all have in common? Well, the title of this is probably a giveaway, but yes, they were adopted. It seems strange to think back on a time many years ago when being adopted had so many stigmas attached to it. Yet, if you look at that list of names again, really, anybody can be adopted.
Welcome to National Adoption Month, November, 2010.
There are an estimated 115,000 children waiting to be adopted in the United States alone. Fortunately, this number has decreased over the years from—for example—133,000 in 2002. Whether it continues on a decline depends on several factors, one of them being if people are willing to open their hearts and homes to a child in need.
People sometimes leap before they look, though, or fail to consider the implications of a major decision like adoption. And it is a major decision. Do you have time for a child? Can you financially care for that child? Will your spouse and/or children accept an adopted child? Those are just the basic questions without getting into the age of the child, if the child has been emotionally damaged or even physically abused. And there are considerations beyond even these.
If you are considering adoption as an option for your household, you’ll probably want a starting point. Take guidelines for instance. They vary from state to state, so Adopt Us Kids (www.AdoptUsKids.org) has a page (http://www.adoptuskids.org/resourceCenter/rrtPackets/chooseState.aspx) with links to each state for the appropriate guidelines. For those of you in Michigan, a place you may want to utilize when looking into adoption is the Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange (http://www.mare.org/). The site features easy-to-find information on where to begin, finding an adoption agency, resources, registries, publications and helpful forms.
And, yes, there are even support groups available.
In the end, though, adoption may not be for everyone. The process of adopting can seem like a daunting journey, but for those who set their minds and hearts on it, the trip is ultimately worthwhile. Please join us at TM in recognizing National Adoption Month.