WILTON, Conn. ? The following is a letter from State Sen. Toni Boucher, R-Wilton, on National Adoption Day.
With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us, many of us will gather with our families, eat a little too much, and perhaps even return to those favorite family stories that rehash embarrassing childhood memories that have since turned into mythical adventures all while we give thanks for our blessings.
Through no fault of their own, an estimated 408,425 children live in foster care in the United States. For them, this holiday isnt about listening to relatives reflect on past Thanksgivings or creating new tales. Instead, its about hoping that next year, they will have a family of their own.
November 19th marked National Adoption Day, a collective national effort to raise awareness of the more than 107,000 children in foster care waiting to find permanent, loving families. This one day has made the dreams of thousands of children come true by working with policymakers, practitioners and advocates to finalize adoptions and find permanent, loving homes for children in foster care. In total, more than 35,000 children have been adopted from foster care on National Adoption Day.
The average child in foster care waits more than three years for an adoptive family, with on average 11% spending five years or more waiting to be chosen by a family. Many people who are considering adopting a child are often discouraged by myths we hear in the news or on television shows.
Congress has streamlined the foster care adoption process and prospective adoptive parents do not have to be rich, married, own a home, or be of a certain race or age to become an adoptive parent (nearly one-third of adoptions from foster care are by single parents). Patience, a good sense of humor, a love of children and the commitment to be a good parent are the most important characteristics.
The National Foundation for Women Legislators has partnered with the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute to raise awareness about the importance of streamlining the adoption process and doing whatever it takes to ensure that thousands of children in foster care currently waiting for permanent homes through adoption find one.
Please visit www.nationaladoptionday.org for the real scoop on adoption and to identify free resources in your community that stand ready, willing, and able to assist anyone who is considering adopting a child. Lets work together to give these kids a chance to create their own family Thanksgiving stories that will be retold for years to come.
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