For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 1, 2002
National Adoption Month, 2002
By the President of the United States of America
Every year, thousands of American families are blessed by
adoption. Whether through domestic or international adoption or through the
adoption of children from foster care, the love of compassionate families
embraces children of all ages and from every background. During National
Adoption Month, we recognize the heartfelt commitment of these good citizens,
and we renew our pledge to make adoption a more accessible and positive path for
Children thrive in loving families where they are nurtured,
comforted, and protected. We are making important progress in placing children
in foster care with adoptive families; and the overall number of children being
adopted continues to rise. In the past 5 years, adoptions have increased
dramatically; and thus far in 2002, tens of thousands of children have already
Twenty-three States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
received adoption incentive awards in FY 2001 for increasing the number of
children they placed from foster care into permanent adoptive homes. These
recipients have reinvested their bonuses to help improve their respective
adoption and child welfare programs. Americans also continue to welcome children
from other countries into their homes through international adoptions. Last
year, families in the United States adopted over 19,000 children from around the
Despite the progress we have made in increasing our adoption
rate, we still have much work to do. More than 130,000 children, ranging from
toddlers to teenagers, still remain in foster care awaiting adoption. While
foster parents offer temporary essential care, the children for whom they care
need the stability of a permanent family. It is often challenging to find
families for older children and those children who have special needs. Yet they
deserve a future with a nurturing family.
To help States promote adoption and support families who
adopt, I signed a tax relief bill last year that permanently eases the financial
burden on families that adopt children. And in January 2002, I signed into law a
bill to extend and expand the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program.
Through this legislation, we are strengthening families by promoting adoption,
offering post-adoptive services to families that adopt, and providing education
and training vouchers to older adopted children and foster youth.
In July 2002, my Administration launched the AdoptUSKids
national campaign to increase awareness about adoption and its role in helping
all children reach their full potential. We have also created the first Federal
adoption photo-listing web site devoted to children awaiting adoption and
families who adopt, www.AdoptUSKids.org. During its first year, the web site
will feature pictures and profiles of more than 6,500 children awaiting
adoption, as well as a database of approved adoptive families. This unique web
site will help to connect children from across the country with loving adoptive
families, and it will also serve as a great resource for all adoptive families.
On November 23, dozens of communities will gather in
courtrooms across the country to celebrate National Adoption Day. On this
momentous day, thousands of adoptions will be finalized and celebrated. These
efforts demonstrate our Nation's dedication to ensuring that every child can
thrive in a secure, loving, and stable home.
Through adoption, Americans can forever change not only a
child's life but also their own. By providing children in need with the
opportunity to grow and succeed through adoption, we can help them become
confident, compassionate, and successful members of society.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United
States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution
and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2002 as National
Adoption Month. I call on all Americans to observe this month with appropriate
programs and activities to honor adoptive families, and to participate in
efforts to find permanent homes for waiting children.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day
of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand two, and of the Independence
of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-seventh.
GEORGE W. BUSH