November is National Adoption Month
A couple days ago I got this e-mail from author Rose Kent, that I would like to share with you. Rose says this far better than I ever could:
I know that many bloggers like you use your hearts & your minds when chosing content, so I am passing on that November is National Adoption Month. There are plenty of reasons to acknowledge adoption. Of course an adopted mom and an author with a novel featuring an adopted protagonist would say that, right? But the reasons go well beyond my kids and my book.
It turns out, we live in a big ol’ adoption nation. Studies show that one hundred million people have adoption within their immediate family — that’s a third of us in the US. But it also turns out many Americans are clueless on what adoption is & isn’t. (We can blame history on that. In days past, adoption was veiled in secrecy. I had a distant cousin who only found out he was adopted by stumbling upon papers the day before he left for college.)
At a recent school visit I talked about adoption and a second-grader raised her hand and told me, "Adoption is when movie stars fly planes faraway and get babies nobody likes from dirty orphanages." (I kid you not.) Many adoptive families I know tell me they are stopped out in public and asked questions like, "So how much did your son cost?" Or if they have more than one child (who doesn’t look like them), "Are they REALLY brother and sister?"
I know we can do better than that at informing children on adoption. And I don’t suggest there is always malice involved here — sometimes it’s simply a lack of understanding (and in some cases, insensitivity.) The more understanding we can promote of adoption (and other forms of family — single parent, step, divorced, gay-lesbian, headed by grandparents, etc), the better off we all are.
ps If you are interested, here’s a terrific organization that strives to promote understanding about adoption. They offer a terrific guide on the subject, too, for educators.
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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