On November 18, 2000, the Foundation and its partners, the Alliance for Children’s Rights and the Freddie Mac Foundation, encouraged seven cities to launch the idea of opening their courts the Saturday before Thanksgiving to finalize and celebrate adoptions from foster care. This first National Adoption Day was inspired by the innovative Adoption Saturday effort of Michael Nash, the former presiding judge of Los Angeles County’s Juvenile Court. He opened the court on Saturdays, engaged the volunteer efforts of court personnel and finalized adoptions to reduce the backlog of one of the busiest courts in the nation.
The National Adoption Day Collaborative grew to include the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute and Action for Children, and from the participation of seven initial cities to more than 400 events in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Guam. In total, this annual event has helped nearly 70,000 children move from foster care to a forever family.
Today, the Foundation continues to work with policymakers, practitioners, community leaders and advocates around National Adoption Day to not only finalize adoptions but also raise awareness of the more than 117,000 children waiting to be adopted from foster care.