- November 5, 2013
The following post is part of HRC’s celebration of National Adoption Month and comes from Garry Bevel,Director of the Commission on Youth-at-Risk at theAmerican Bar Association, and a member of the All Children – All Families national advisory council.
Imagine not knowing for sure where you will live in one month or one year. Imagine not knowing where you’ll spend Thanksgiving or who will celebrate your birthday. Imagine not having a place to call home. If you can imagine these things, or relate to these experiences, then you can appreciate the importance and the difference adoption can make in the lives of children and young people.
National Adoption Month raises awareness and encourages the adoption of children out of America’s foster care system. And you don’t have to adopt yourself to be a champion for adoption. Just be willing to have a conversation! Perhaps you have a friend or family member who was adopted, or you read a news story about adoption; use that as an opportunity at work, at school, or in social settings to dispel myths and talk about the benefits of adoption.
The single most important effort in the march for LGBT equality is for people to come out. The more people realize that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons are their family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers, fellow congregants, and community leaders, the more conversations can be had about sexual orientation and gender identity. Now people understand there are many more experiences connecting us than separating us. More and more of society understands that we are people with joys and sorrows, bills and work, celebrations and chores just like them.
Children and youth in foster care could use that kind of understanding, too. Many of us know what it’s like to worry how we’ll be treated at home, who we can count on, and who we can turn to if we are in trouble, afraid or confused. We know what it’s like to be stigmatized for reasons completely outside of our control. We know how refreshing and encouraging it is to have allies and supporters making the case for our well-being. So this month, make the case for the well-being of a child in foster care! Consider adoption! Talk about adoption! Come out for healthy, stable and permanent homes and futures for young people all over the country!