National Adoption Day

Observed every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, National Adoption Day is a holiday during which communities and courts across the U.S. come together to finalize the adoptions of thousands of children in foster care.

Every year, hundreds of events are held in nearly every part of the United States, all designed to finalize the adoptions of children in foster care. In 2015, over 4,000 children were adopted on this day, and since its inception in 2000, over 58,000 children have been adopted in total.

In the U.S., there are over 125,000 children waiting to be adopted, and the number increases every year. This makes it the perfect day to spread the word about this fact and help these children find adoptive families.

History of National Adoption Day

National Adoption Day was started by a coalition of groups, which includes the Children’s Action Network, The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, The Alliance for Children’s Rights, and the Freddie Mac Foundation. It became a reality in November 2000.

Over the years, sponsors of this day have worked with various state foster care agencies, law firms, courts, and child advocates to complete foster care adoptions. By 2003, over 120 jurisdictions participated, adopting more than 3,000 children.

In 2011, over 300 events were organized. As of 2016, over 58,000 children have been adopted on this holiday. Despite the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, over 75,000 children have been adopted thanks to events held on this holiday.

Facts About Adoptions & The Adoption Process

We’ve learned quite a few things about adoption and the adoption process as we researched this holiday. Here are some facts that we think everyone can benefit from learning, so we’ve decided to list some of them below.

Adoption in the U.S. Has Existed for Over 171+ Years

Adoption as an official and legal process has existed in the United States for almost two hundred years, first implemented in 1850.

One Out of Twenty-Five U.S. Families Have at Least One Adopted Child

Approximately 135,000 children are adopted in the United States every year. This means that 1 out of 25 families in this country have at least one adopted child. However, this figure only accounts for domestic adoptions and does not include the 7,000 international adoptions that occur annually.

Almost Half of Domestic Adoptions Come from the Foster Care System

A full 40% of all domestic adoptions in the United States originate from the foster care system. The remaining 60% come from inter-family adoption, private adoption agencies, and adoptions within Native tribal communities.

Adoption Can Be an Expensive Process

Some adoptive families may spend up to $40,000 during the adoption process. This can include costs for adoption agency fees, hospital and medical care, and travel expenses. As a result, some families are financially unable to adopt a child, even though they might wish to do so.

Millions of American Families Have Considered Adoption

Adoption can be a challenging process, but that hasn’t stopped a significant number of American families from considering it. It’s estimated that approximately 80+ million American families have thought about adopting a child.

Unfortunately, while American families take time to consider adoption, almost 25,000 children age out of the foster care system without ever finding a permanent home. Of these children, only 2% will go on to pursue higher education.

It’s also worth mentioning that 80% of the current prison population has been in foster care at some point in their lives, highlighting the importance of adoption.

There Are Over 100,000+ Children Waiting to Be Adopted

Currently, almost 108,000 children are not only eligible for adoption but are also waiting for it in foster care. It’s estimated that about 29% of all children will spend at least three years in the foster care system. The average age of children in foster care is 7 years old.

A Lot of Adoptions Happen Among Relatives

It may be surprising to some that 41% of children are adopted by relatives. The remaining 59% are adopted by non-relatives in the U.S.

National Adoption Day Traditions & Customs

Various events are held across the United States on National Adoption Day. These include rallies, exhibits, seminars, and adoption drives. Individuals who want to participate in this day can do so by spreading the word about the need for families to adopt, using the hashtag #NationalAdoptionDay, and by volunteering for organizations that help children get adopted.

When is it?
This year (2024)
November 23 Saturday
Next year (2025)
November 22 Saturday
Last year (2023)
November 18 Saturday
Relationships & Family