' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Halloween ushers in National Adoption Awareness Month

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween ushers in National Adoption Awareness Month

November is National Adoption Month, ushered in prophetically by Halloween, a harbinger that adoption is not all treats. In fact, it can be downright demoniac. A reminder! Today, Halloween, is the last day you can vote for your favorite Demons in Adoption. There’s a stellar list of nominees; if you haven’t cast your ballot, do it now at Pound Puppy Legacy. (And see our previous post about our favorites to vote for--and scroll down and vote in all three categories.)

Back to National Adoption Month. NAM had its beginning in 1976 when Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis announced Adoption Week to promote awareness of the need for adoptive families for children in foster care.
In 1984 President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first National Adoption Week and in 1995 President Clinton expanded it to the entire month of November. This year the sponsors – the US Children’s Bureau, Adopt US Kids, and the Ad Council are focusing on finding families for pre-teens, children 8 to 12. We at First Mother Forum whole-heartedly support this. 

But the adoption industry soon co-opted NAM, renaming it National Adoption Awareness Month, using the publicity around NAM to promote the profitable side of the adoption business, infant adoption. Google National Adoption Awareness Month and you’ll find adoption agency websites with lead ins urging readers to consider adopting children in foster care but plastered with ads soliciting pregnant women to do the best for themselves and their child and assuring prospective adoptive parents of the quality of their products.

I need no presidential proclamation to make me aware of adoption in November because my surrendered daughter Rebecca was born Thursday, November 17, 1966, just a week before Thanksgiving. For many years, I turned away every time I saw the numbers 11/17, whether on a calendar, a clock, or a copy machine (the dimensions of legal size paper). Since our reunion a week after Rebecca’s birthday in 1997, I have been able to stare down 11/17, even with my one eye. This November 17, I can both wish my daughter a happy birthday and pat myself on the back for quitting smoking some years ago.

I mention smoking because with Great American Smoke out--a day to not smoke for a day--is the third Thursday in November, the 17th this year.

But there are zillions of other holidays. My mother, a Latin teacher, used to tell me that although Roman school children had no summer vacation, they went to school fewer days than American children because the Romans had so many holidays and festivals honoring the Gods. The United States probably equals the Romans in commemorative days although school children don’t get the day off. Special days include World Day of Snowman (January 18), National Beer Day (April 7), and International Cat Day (August 8). Since I lost my right eye to cancer 12 years ago, I’ve felt there should be a Monocular Vision Day

Halloween would be a perfect day since the one-eyed can legitimately wear a patch whether we fashion ourselves as murderers or sophisticates. We can also take the patch off and be really scary.
Vote for Your Favorite Demon in Adoption

Ancient Roman Holidays and Festivals
Commemorative Days
National Adoption Awareness Month


  1. Jane,I'm sorry you lost an eye to cancer. You have a great attitude.A lot of cancer recently showed up in my family lung cancer and leukemia which my parents died from after basically never being sick a day in their lives(my Dad was 90)The only cancer I've had so far is skin cancer which is nothing compared to these other cancers(except melanoma,which mine wasn't). But I let it go too long and and had to have most of my chin removed and have plastic surgery, so I don't go out in public much even though it doesn't look that bad(they say) and I don't go to support groups where there are adoptees and n-mothers any more because if someone is going through the angry stage I'm sure a good target as an n-mom. Even at work people would say things so I left For any n-mothers reading this, surrendering my baby was one big trick-no treats for me.

  2. I propose that we start a month called "Keeping my Baby". Maybe it could be in February to coincide with Valentine's Day, the holiday of love.

    We could have ads with the lyrics of Papa don't preach (I realize Madonna is not our favorite celebrity here at FMF);

    "But I made up my mind,
    I'm keeping my baby

    Oh, I'm gonna keep my baby mmm"

    And we could have email addresses like "HappyIkept" or "singlemomandproud"


  3. Sadly, there are even more teens that aren't even counted on the social services rolls or their information kept - after age 16 they are considered no more than a pain in the behind - not adoptable, usually more trouble than they are worth (although how you can devalue the live of anyone like that is beyond me), and definitely going to move at least 2 times in the next 6 months....

    I wish people would just try..... I hate it.

  4. Trolling for babies on Facebook:

    I regularly check my 16-year-old daughter's facebook. This morning, in her sidebar, was an advertisement by a couple looking to adopt a newborn via open adoption.

    My daughter has never written anything about adoption (or anything remotely related) on her Facebook, so I'm guessing the ad was targeted toward her because of her age.

    It was disgusting.

    Fortunately, we've already had many discussions about the subject. But her friends ...

    can you imagine being a 16 year old girl, just discovering you're pregnant, logging onto your Facebook to chat with a friend ... and here's a couple wanting your baby? Saying they can give your baby what you can't?

    Happy Adoption Awareness Month!

  5. This month always makes me sad. For every
    baby or child separated from it's family is a
    disconnect. A dead end and for what many
    times this is unneeded. If the help they offered
    money went to keeping babies with moms our
    country would nor be filled with disconnected
    people. Steve Jobs a perfect example he was
    "filled" with glass according to a person he knew intimately. A "chosen" baby I think not no matter how much money he made-he couldn't and didn't fill the hole created by separation. He was broke inside due to adoption. He had two parents one who I am sure wanted him with all her being.

  6. Hmm, I think it's time for me to post an ad on facebook for a husband - I'll even consider open marriage to sweeten the deal.

    Give your hubby to me - I swear I will send photos and allow one supervised visit per year!

  7. @Maybe...LOL!! that's great. Fully support you in that.

  8. Hehehe...Maybe, you have a plan there!:-) How about a used husband swap?

    Take heart everyone, most people never heard of National Adoption Month and don't care. It is one more stupid promotional stunt.

    Halloween is too good a holiday to link to it, we had a good number of trick or treaters in such cute costumes despite the snow. Parts of NJ got whacked really bad,still have no power. Some towns around here have postponed Halloween! Does that postpone National Adoption Month as well? One can hope.

  9. Like the idea of postponing National Adoption AWAREMESS Month...yes, that was intentional.



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