National Adoption Month 2017 Message from Assistant Secretary Carl C. Risch
National Adoption Month has a special meaning for me personally, as an adopted person, and for the Bureau of Consular Affairs, as the United States’ Central Authority on intercountry adoption.
Each year the President proclaims November adoption month to raise awareness of children waiting to find permanent homes. It was originally designed to bring attention to the children in the U.S. foster care system waiting to be adopted, but today we recognize potential adoptees throughout the world. The Department of State encourages countries to maintain intercountry adoption as a viable option for children in need of permanent homes who cannot remain with their birth families or find adoptive homes in their country.
My team and I never lose sight of the enormous responsibility we all share to ensure that safeguards are in place to protect the best interests of children, birth parents, and adoptive parents. Our Consular officers around the world and our experts in the Office of Children’s Issues coordinate with foreign adoption officials, share expertise with countries seeking to strengthen their child welfare systems, and – when an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interest – help U.S. families navigate the intercountry adoption process.
More than a quarter million children, from more than 100 countries found a permanent home with families in the United States over the last 18 years. I am proud of the role my Bureau has played in strengthening child welfare around the world and in helping children find a family to call their own.