Everyone can support adoption, even if you haven’t been personally affected by it! So whether you’re a birth parent, an adoptive parent, an adoptee, or just someone who is passionate about adoption, here are 6 ways you can support adoption during National Adoption Month and all year long:
1. Educate Yourself and Others About Adoption
One of the best ways you can help support adoption this National Adoption Month is to educate yourself and others about adoption.
- Children who’ve never met a family that came together through adoption
- Expectant parents who are considering their unplanned pregnancy options: abortion, adoption, or parenting
- Families who are considering adopting a child
- Anyone who is unaware of the modern realities of adoption, and may still believe many outdated views of adoption
… all of these people can benefit from learning a little bit more about adoption. You can benefit from learning something new about adoption, too! Challenge yourself to listen to an adoption podcast, read some adoption statistics, learn proper adoption terminology, or to talk to someone who’s been touched by adoption.
2. Use Adoption-Positive Language
Support adoption in the way you speak about it! Always use correct terminology when talking about adoption, and don’t be afraid to gently correct others when they use hurtful adoption phrases such as “giving up for adoption,” “put up for adoption,” or “real family.”
Speak up if others judge birth parents for their adoption decision, protect an adoptee’s right to decide when/how to share their own story when talking with others, and always think before you speak about someone’s adoption. People will pick up on how you talk about adoption, so always be supportive and kind when you speak!
3. Normalize Adoption
Adoption is an amazing thing that brings families together. It’s not shameful, nor is it secretive. More and more families grow through adoption every year, and most of those adoptions are open.
Despite the increasing prevalence of families touched by adoption, many people are still shocked by it. They often view adoption as “Plan B.” You can help support adoption by reminding others that adoption is a common way to unite families, and that it should be celebrated in the same way as you would when a family grows by any other means.
4. Support All Members of the Adoption Triad
You probably know a birth parent, or an adoptive parent, or an adoptee. So depending on your personal connection to adoption, you may view it from one side of the adoption triad. But adoption involves all three elements of the triad— all of whom need support and love. The best supporters of adoption are people who support everyone within the adoption triad, and who remain sensitive to the needs and feelings of everyone involved in adoption!
Support can come in many forms, but most often, support means listening to the members of the adoption triad and what they need from you.
5. Donate Your Time or Resources
Adoption is costly, emotionally tiring and time-consuming. Offering your time, talent, or financial resources to families who are adopting a child or to expectant parents who are placing a child is invaluable.
You can help support adoption by volunteering your time to help educate others about adoption, or becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister to a child in foster care, for example. Offer to help out with a family’s adoption fundraiser! Or, you could knit baby blankets or hats for newborns being placed for adoption, or put together care baskets for pregnant women who are placing their child for adoption, and may not have access to comforting items in the hospital.
You could donate to adoption funds for families who are adopting a child, donate to birth parent scholarship funds to help them pursue their dreams, or donate to trusted adoption organizations that work with children and families.
Adoption isn’t for everyone. But if you want to support adoption, consider adopting a child! You can learn more about the requirements of adopting here.