A Note from the Capitol – 11.10.11
Posted: Friday, November 11, 2011 2:56 pm
By: Gov. Bill Haslam, Special to The Press
It’s hard to believe, but we will officially kick off the holiday season this month. For many of us, this will mean gathering with family and friends to celebrate and give thanks for our many blessings and the joys of the past year.
With family at the heart of many of our holiday celebrations, it is especially fitting that we observe National Adoption Month in November.
Celebrated nationally since 1995, Adoption Month is an opportunity to honor those families who have chosen to make a lasting difference in the life of a child through adoption. It is also a time to reaffirm our commitment to finding loving, stable and supportive homes for children who still need and want them.
I am proud to say that when it comes to adoption, Tennessee is leading the nation. Our state excels in time to adoption, meaning children eligible for adoption in our state find permanent homes more quickly than eligible children in any other state in the country. This is according to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System.
Last year, 953 children were adopted through the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services. This is a wonderful testament to the families of this state, and to the social services professionals and volunteers throughout the state who work diligently in search of adoptive homes. However, even though we have many successes to be proud of, there is still much work to be accomplished.
Currently 623 children are awaiting adoption in Tennessee.
To help raise awareness of the continued need for adoptive families, communities across the state will observe National Adoption Month with special events, seminars and recruitment activities which are open to anyone who is interested in adoption. In addition, many local courthouses will also open their doors to finalize pending adoptions on National Adoption Day, Saturday, Nov. 19.
Giving a child a strong foundation, a family to love and a safe place to grow, is one of life’s greatest and most generous gifts. Through adoption many Tennessee families are providing these immeasurable gifts for our children allowing them to realize their full potential and lead happy lives.
During this month of Thanksgiving, and throughout the year, let us all show our gratitude for the blessings of family, and for those who open their families to our children. Let us also consider the various ways we can support Tennessee’s children and encourage their success including through adoption and foster care.
For more information about Adoption Month or for information about adopting a child in Tennessee, please visit http://www.tn.gov/youth/adoption.htm.