Monday, October 5, 2009

National Adoption Day

Nia Vardalos, who adopted a child from foster care, has been named spokesperson of the 2009 National Adoption Day in November. In making the announcement, the National Adoption Day Coalition said the award winning actress/writer/director will share her story as an adoptive parent. Vardalos, Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee for the motion picture My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and her husband, Ian Gomez, adopted a 3-year-old girl last year.

Vardalos is an advocate for foster care adoption in the United States. “My goal is to raise awareness about foster family agencies who can connect prospective parents with the 129,000 legally free children in the United States waiting for a family,” Vardalos said. “I am pleased to spread the message that American foster care, while maintaining the highest level of screening, does not discriminate against applicants for reasons of income level, marital status or sexual orientation.”

Of the children in foster care in the U.S. waiting for adoption, here are some statistics, provided by Voice for Adoption.

47% are nine-years-old and older
Nearly 42 months is the average stay in foster care
Children of color stay in foster care longer and have fewer adoptions than their
white peers
Nearly 90% of children adopted from foster care in 2006 had special needs
In 2006, more than 26,000 “aged out” of foster care

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