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National Adoption Month Celebrates, Promotes Families for Foster Children

For 35 years, November has been designated as a time of celebration of adoptive families throughout the nation. In Pennsylvania, child-serving agencies, courts and communities take time out to honor families formed through adoption, reflect on lives of parents and children forever changed, and rally for the children still waiting for a family to call their own.

At the June 2019 Pennsylvania Permanency Conference and SWAN/IL Summer Statewide Meeting, we cheered the 2,578 adoptions that were finalized in federal fiscal year (FFY) 2018 (10/1/17-9/30/18).  Stories of adoption, supported by quality services, committed casework, and ongoing advocacy, were shared through the individuals and families honored at the conference award banquet and reported here:

Hiller Adoptive Family
Youth Advocate Alex Isbell

National Adoption Month also serves to raise awareness of the need for families for children in substitute care. The following chart illustrates some of the data supporting the needs:

National Adoption Statistics

*Source:  Trends in Foster Care and Adoption, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families ,Children's Bureau, https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/resource/trends-in-foster-care-and-adoption

**Source:  U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau. (2018). Adoption Foster Care System (AFCARS), Foster Care File 2017, https://www.ndacan.acf.hhs.gov/datasets/dataset-details.cfm?ID=225

For additional Pennsylvania and county-specific data, access the Pennsylvania Partnership for Children’s 2019 State of Child Welfare report.

As agencies and courts plan and host adoption month celebrations, keep in mind the following resources:


  • Adoption Month/Day event planning guidelines and resources from the SWAN Prime Contractor
    Search on events at the SWAN Permanency Toolkit


  • Counseling for families interested in adoption through foster care. Adoptive families may self-refer for SWAN Post-permanency services by calling:
    - SWAN Helpline 1-800-585-7926 (SWAN)


  • Information about foster care and adoption in Pennsylvania, including profiles of waiting children




Published: Nov. 20, 2019

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Article Links

  1. History of National Adoption Month - National Adoption Month - ...
  2. Hiller Adoptive Family
  3. Youth Advocate Alex Isbell
  4. Trends in Foster Care & Adoption: FY 2011- 2020 | ...
  5. Dataset Details: National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect ...
  6. Report: 2019 State of Child Welfare - PA Partnerships for ...
  7. National Adoption Month - Child Welfare Information Gateway
  8. SWAN Permanency Toolkit
  9. www.adoptPAkids.org
  10. SWAN MeetTheKids Documentary - YouTube