Some of Alabama’s biggest political names are currently promoting adoption by introducing resolutions within the U.S. House and the Senate to officially make November National Adoption Month and to establish Nov. 18 as National Adoption Day.
“Adoption is an act of generosity and compassion,” said Sen. Tommy Tuberville. “It gives children a safe, loving, and stable home and gives them a better opportunity to thrive. That benefits the child, and it also benefits our entire society.
“On National Adoption Day — and everyday — we ought to honor the selflessness of adoptive families.”
Tuberville (R-Auburn) introduced similar resolutions in 2022 and 2021.
In the House, Rep. Robert Aderholt filed a matching resolution.
“Recognizing National Adoption Day and Month is an integral part of keeping adoption as a legislative priority,” said Aderholt (R-Haleyville). “Uniting families is certainly something that unites Republicans and Democrats across party lines.
“I look forward to continuing to work together in a bipartisan way to tackle the barriers to adoption until every child knows the blessing of a loving home.”
The resolution has 27 additional original cosponsors including Reps. Jerry Carl and Barry Moore.
On the state level, Gov. Kay Ivey recognized Nov. 18 as National Adoption Day and also seeks to enshrine November as National Adoption Month.
“I am extremely proud that Alabama has been able to place so many children in permanent homes,” Ivey said.
“I appreciate the tireless and dedicated work of the Department of Human Resources and our state’s numerous private partners. I also sincerely thank our foster families and adoptive families for giving these children loving, forever homes.”
There are approximately 6,000 children and youth in Alabama’s foster care system. By comparison Georgia has 11,000 children in state care, while Mississippi reported having 4,000.
Last March, in order to streamline and improve the adoption process the Alabama legislature passed a major rewrite to the state’s adoption laws. The rewrite decreases the time in a child abandonment case before that child can be put up for adoption from six months to four months and also allows case handlers to communicate with each other while keeping the adoptee and biological parents’ information safe.
The Alabama Department of Human Resources, which handles the process of finding foster homes and adoption, finalized 741 foster care adoptions in Fiscal Year 2023.
Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.