“Celebrating a Family for Every Child.” Free adoption day events celebrate the impactful journey adoptive families have been on. Will you attend one of the events?
Finally! The day has come to make that dream come true; the dream of growing a family through adoption. You’ve waited for this day for months and now that it is here, is it really the end?
The journey to completion seemed never-ending. With all the rules, regulations, documents, and everything else that came with having to complete an adoption, it’s a breath of fresh air when everything finally falls into place.
But, it was all worth it! Now, the adoption is finalized and a family is complete.
Following the finalization of an adoption, many believe that this is the end of their adoption journey. Perhaps that adoption day closed a door to a chapter that was eagerly anticipating an ending.
Or, perhaps others don’t realize there are so many more ways that adoption can continue to be a part of lives in much bigger and better ways! Have you heard of free adoption day events?
Free Adoption Day
Free adoption day celebrations are one of the many ways adoptive children and families can come together to celebrate their journeys and share with others how adoption has changed their lives. This free event encompasses a day filled with fun, activities, celebration, and more to enhance the celebration spirit.
Places like the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption participate in several free adoption day celebration events during the year throughout the country. Their goal is to recognize and celebrate children and families who have been adopted.
Many of these events take place in November as this is the month when National Adoption Day is recognized.
Adoption Day Events
Have you participated in a free adoption day event?
Throughout the country, free adoption day events are hosted near the time of Thanksgiving. To find an adoption day near you, check the events on the National Adoption Day website.
These events welcome families, adoption professionals, and people interested in learning about adoption, and they are free for fun and educational purposes surrounding adoption.
There are several ways you can contribute to the success of the adoption day. To participate in a free adoption day event, you can either register as an attendee or you can plan an event in your area. If you are hosting an event, reaching out to adoption professionals in your area is a great way to ensure your audience will be provided with the best information and the most fun possible on this day.
National Adoption Day
“The first national adoption day was inspired by the innovative efforts of Michael Nash… He opened the court on Saturdays, engaged the volunteer efforts of court personnel and finalized adoptions to reduce the backlog of one of the busiest courts in the nation.” – Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
National Adoption Day is celebrated nationwide on November 23. This day is a day of awareness of the more than 125,000 children in US foster care who are waiting to be adopted.
National Adoption Day was founded by a collection of national partners, including Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, Alliance for Children’s Rights, and Children’s Action Network.
The premise of National Adoption Day is for cities around the country to open their courts on or around the Saturday before Thanksgiving to finalize and celebrate adoptions!
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption was established in 1992 by Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s. Throughout his years advocating for children, Dave Thomas also testified before Congress to support an adoption tax credit that aimed to make adoption more affordable.
This tax credit helps individuals seeking to grow their family as well as helps children in out-of-home care have a better chance of being placed in a permanent home.
It is no secret that adoption can be an expensive process and oftentimes can detour many from following through with adopting a child. However, with this adoption tax credit, there is some help in securing a family.
The adoption tax credit provides a credit of up to $13,810 of qualified expenses for each adopted child. The adoption could be from public foster care, domestic private adoption, or international adoption.
Different states will have a discrepancy of how much in total it costs to adopt a child. Therefore, it is difficult to say exactly how much you will spend to adopt versus how much you will get back with the tax credit.
Without people like Dave Thomas, children and families who are united today may not have had that adoption opportunity had it not been for his advocacy of the tax credit.
Prepare for Adoption
When you’re considering adoption, it can be a nerve-racking time. It can also be exciting! The anticipation of being able to grow your family and being able to make a difference in children’s lives is a feeling like no other.
So, where do you start?
In each state across the United States, there are various rules, regulations, and laws when it comes to adoption. You will want to ensure you are researching those applicable rules for the state in which you are living or adopting.
Typically, the rules do not differ greatly. Many of the rules mirror those of other states. The fees associated with each state though will be very different.
In general, if you are preparing for adoption, the following is what you will have to look forward to in order to complete your journey:
- Applying through your state’s preferred method;
- Providing financial documents;
- Submitting medical records;
- Proving your income;
- Showing proof of legal residency (I.D., birth certificate, etc.)
- Sharing your marriage license or divorce decree (if applicable);
- Submitting references, such as from neighbors, co-workers, family friends, your boss, church members, etc.;
- Passing a home study;
- Being interviewed by an adoption specialist.
The adoption process can take anywhere from six months to a year to be completed. There are various elements to take into consideration when establishing a timeline. Each state holds different requirements for their adoption specialists to complete each part of the adoption application.
Additionally, the adoption agency or state department will also have to consider their workload at the time of your application. While some seasons may be busier than others or if there are changes with the child you are trying to adopt, you can generally gauge about a year from the time you submit your application to the time of completion.
The most common part of the adoption process that can take the longest is the home study. The home study requires many steps to be completed in order for you to pass and be considered a qualified prospective adoptive parent. It is also the most intrusive in your private life, and some hopeful parents become nervous during this part.
To pass a home study, the following elements are taken into consideration:
- Submission of three to five references;
- Financial and medical statements;
- Background checks, including abuse and neglect checks;
- Marriage or divorce documents, if applicable;
- Fire safety inspection;
- Water testing (if required by your area).
Once these documents are received, the second part of the home study takes place, which includes an in-home visit:
- An in-person, in-home visit from an adoption specialist;
- Ensuring chemicals, medications, and other hazardous materials are out of children’s reach;
- Heavy furniture secured;
- Weapons stored in a safe;
- Window locks and screens secured;
- Gates installed on stairways (for younger children);
- Electrical outlets covered;
- Smoke and carbon dioxide detectors in working order;
- Any signage or required postings showing which adoption agency you are with.
Following this in-home inspection, be prepared for an interview with the adoption specialist on the same day.
Typically, the adoption specialist will interview all persons living in your home (including children with the cognitive and verbal ability to answer questions). The adoption specialist will ask questions regarding:
- Your relationship as a couple (if applicable), relationship with your family, and your goal of adoption;
- Your own early childhood experiences and how those experiences influence your parenting methods;
- Adoptees and birth parents and the role of race and culture in adoption;
- The adoption process overall.
As you can see, the home study can be a lengthy process. However, don’t get discouraged! The process is worth the challenges in the end.
What Happens After Adoption?
Many states implement a series of post-placement visits. These visits include an in-home visit with your adoption specialist. The specialist will likely take another walk-through of your home and will want to speak to all members of the household individually again, along with the newly placed adoptee.
The purpose of these post-placement visits is to check-in with the families and children who were brought together through adoption. It is not a test of your adequateness in caring for a child. Instead, it should simply be viewed as an adoption professional checking in with a new family.
The post-placement visits are similar to that of a postpartum visit for mothers or newborn checkups where doctors assess how this life-changing event has impacted the lives involved. Post-placement visits for adoptions are designed to help families as they navigate their new normal.
Some states require up to six post-placement visits with each family during the first year of their completed adoption. Don’t worry! It is for your benefit just as much as it is for the adoptive child’s.
This is also an opportunity for the adoptive parents to ask any questions or discuss any concerns that may have come up. The adoption specialist is a resource and should be considered as such for your benefit.
How Adoption Changes Lives
The only thing we can count on in life is change, right? Well with adoption, you are guaranteed to experience life-changing events. Adoption doesn’t just change your life; it also changes the lives of the children being adopted.
How can adoption really make that much of a difference? Consider the butterfly effect; the possibility that small changes or causes may have momentous effects.
There are thousands of children needing forever homes, and whether you adopt one child or a dozen, you are setting off a chain changes in those children’s lives. They will, in turn, change others’ lives in the future. How awesome is that?
Adoption really can change the world, one small victory at a time. If you change one life, you change so many more. Because you have given love to someone and shown you care, that effect on your child will continue to spread elsewhere, even during times when there seems to be nothing but friction between you and the child you adopted. Love shared is love that is changing the world, no matter how it looks on the outside.
Will You Adopt?
There are many ways you can help children needing to be adopted. If physically adopting a child is not something you can or want to do, consider what you can do to make a difference in these children’s lives.
Decades of research show that children living in institutional care will suffer from social, emotional, and behavioral abnormalities as a result of the time they spend living outside of a family.
Because of these challenges, children find themselves bouncing from foster home to foster home, which leads them to feel disconnected from life in general and gives them a sense of not belonging. This story can be changed.
Businesses like Both Ends Believing have dedicated their resources to uniting children with loving homes. This is made possible with donations of $5 per month from members of the community. These donations contribute to improving child welfare systems and ensuring they are maximizing their resources effectively for those who need it.
While free adoption day events are fun and exciting to attend, consider the stories of the people who are there with you. How did they come to be? What can you learn from them? Open your mind to the possibility of adopting a child into your home and your world.
Each family is unique; they may share similar journeys throughout the adoption process, but they all are different. What will your adoption journey look like? After your family grows through adoption, will you attend a free adoption day event?