National Adoption Day is celebrated each November by those who want to bring awareness to the hundreds of thousands of children still looking for a home. You don’t need to be intimately involved with adoption to celebrate—and many can benefit from simple actions you can take to make others aware of this important day.

Spotlight: When and How to Celebrate National Adoption Day

National Adoption Day is a great way to raise awareness for children across the country in need of a home—and to celebrate families willing to take on the awesome responsibility of taking in a child for life.

This important day is celebrated on the 18th of November of each year, and an official website explains both the meaning of the day and how you can raise awareness for a good cause.

Since Adoption Day is designed to raise awareness rather than to partake in certain festivities, there aren’t many ways for both adoptees and adopters to celebrate each other.

In fact, the official website of National Adoption Day focuses on the “one day” project, which allows those who recognize the day to spread the message across social media and hopefully incentivize just one person to consider adoption.

Still, for those involved or not involved with adoption on a personal level, there are many ways you can both celebrate those adopted in your life and to raise awareness for an excepted cause.

national adoption day

Discussing Adoption Day

Assuming you’ve either not adopted or have been adopted yourself, the easiest way to celebrate National Adoption Day is to take a moment to recognize this cause publicly.

Apart from discussing the “one day” project on social media, you may also want to try to bring up the topic either at the dinner table or work.

With your co-workers, see if there may be an appropriate time and place to bring up the issue of adoption. This is perhaps best done either away from the daily work grind or out during lunch. Instead of focusing on the immediate need of thousands of children across the nation, it may be best to simply see if any of your co-workers would entertain the idea of adoption.

To be clear—to co-workers and those you may not know personally, now may not be the best time to advocate for a cause. Instead, simply mention the day and allow the conversation to grow naturally or dissipate from there.

While Adoption Day is not a nationally-recognized holiday, it is one that gets a lot of social media traction. Discussing the issue publicly is a good way to help instill that sense of awareness without putting people in an uncomfortable position.

With children that are not aware of adoption or the need for more to step forward to help potential adoptees, Adoption Day is a great way to discuss both sacrifice and empathy.

Depending on the age of the youngest members of your family, try to see what your children know about adoption and whether or not they are aware of the need. Then, you can explain what adoption is, how it works, and if your family is interested, whether or not adoption may be in your family’s future.

Discussing Adoption Day is about to be a little awkward—especially with those that may find such a conversation to be a bit strange or out of character. Still, it may be worth it to the cause to simply plant the seed in other’s minds—or to remind those that many out there in our own country are less fortunate than ourselves.

Either way, a little bit of empathy can go a long way.

Social Media

Social media is where much of Adoption Day takes place, and events where hundreds or thousands are adopted during the day’s festivities tend to be shared throughout social media and the blogosphere.

You can do your part, personally involved or not, by simply sharing posts, retweeting, or otherwise drawing attention on your platforms to this serious issue. You may also wish to share the online directory of foster care and adoption resources across the country. This directory will point those who are interested in the right direction, even if they don’t inform you of their interest beforehand.

Either way, anonymous support is still very much helpful.

For those who may not be ready to take on the great task of adoption, foster care is also another great option that may lead to full-time placement with families. Foster care and adoption go hand in hand, so discussing this option online may make those with much more willing to spread a little bit of that happiness to others.

The important thing is not to pontificate to others, but rather to start genuine conversations. Don’t be afraid to enter your own comments section and discuss your feelings towards adoption or fostering children. There is a myriad of opinions and perspectives, but you should find that most are empathetic to this great need.

At the end of the day or several days later, official sources will also announce the number of children that were adopted on the special holiday. This number can likewise be shared on social media to highlight exactly why you chose to “spam” your follows and show that awareness and simple sharing can lead to concrete and permanent results.

celebrating national adoption day

For Adoptees and Adopters

For those who have already adopted or are adoptees themselves, National Adoption Day can take on a whole new meaning. Some may be inclined to tell those in their lives about how much they mean to them, while others may be having a much more difficult time or didn’t quite experience what they wanted to throughout the process of adoption.

Adoption Day is also difficult for families with adopted children that may be too young to quite grasp the gravity of the situation. It is every family’s choice to decide when and how to inform these young children of their adoptive status, if at all, but if you choose to do so, this special day might be the right time to do it.

Families with fully integrated and adopted members of the family may be able to reflect on their experiences with Adoption Day as both the backdrop and the cause of the discussion. If you find yourself as a parent of an adopted child, try to have a candid conversation with them about their feelings and experiences with adoption.

Instead of looking for a certain answer, remember to allow them to express themselves in a way that they most feel comfortable, and to think about what they have to say. Then, if you feel so inclined, express your feelings without the adoptive process and the lows and highs of integrating a new member of the family.

Depending on the age of the child, this conservation can be as honest and as eye-opening as you allow it to be.

Adoption Day focuses on children with the immediate need for parents, but it can also be a time to recognize adults with success stories in the adoption program in the country. Likewise, parents of adult adoptees may be inclined to share their stories for the first time due to the holiday.

What makes the date of this unique holiday particularly great is the proximity to Thanksgiving. Many family members will be free from work and other obligations to gather around and share a meal together—so even if everyone is separated on the 18th, there still may be time to have conversations a week or so later.

Listening and understanding are keys to celebrating the day. Adoption stories don’t always begin (or end) in a happy place, and personal trauma may make it difficult for some to be opening to conversations.

If this is the case, perhaps another day and another time is a better time to bring up the issues. Instead, focus on the positive and try to make the most of the time you have with your loved ones.

So whether you’re in the middle of the adoptive process, a concerned citizen, or someone who has a real personal connection with adoption, National Adoption Day provides a wonderful opportunity to share experiences with each other and try to empathize with those beyond our line of sight.

celebrating adoption day

If any of the above brings interest to you or your family in the process of adoption, please visit the United States Department of State website on Intercountry Adoption. If adoption within the United States interests you more, there are also a wealth of online resources that can get you connected to the local systems in place to help you.

We hope that this special day proves to be a positive, informative experience both for yourself and those you love. It’s always important and never too late to take the time to think about those who may be suffering just outside of our homes—and to figure out ways that we can get involved and make a difference.