Adoption & Permanency Month

Since Court Adoption and Permanency Month was initiated in 1999, many individual California courts have dedicated specific adoption days in November—including Adoption Saturdays and Adoption Fridays—as well as other events, to clear their backlogs of adoption cases.
This November marks the 20th year that the Judicial Council has issued a Proclamation declaring November to be "Court Adoption and Permanency Month." The legislature joined in this effort with Assembly Concurrent Resolution Number 126 (Maienshein; Stats. 2019, ch. 174) and Senate Concurrent Resolution Number 74 (Pan; Stats. 2019, ch. 159). National Adoption Month was also recognized federally with an emphasis on the immeasurable love and support that adoptive parents and families provide to hundreds of thousands of children each year and the continued need to find permanent families for children in foster care.

Each year in California, nearly half a million reports are made of child abuse and neglect, and approximately 21,000 children enter foster care for the first time, compared to 27,000 twenty years ago. Currently, about 60,000 children in California are living apart from their families in child welfare–supervised, out-of-home care, which is a substantial number, but 44 percent less than it was twenty years ago. And the proportion of children exiting foster care into a permanent home has increased by 10 percent in the last twenty years, including a 57 percent increase in the proportion of those being adopted. While progress has been made since the council first declared November Court Adoption and Permanency Month twenty years ago, much work still needs to be done to improve the lives of children and families in the child welfare system. Forty percent of the children in foster care in California still live apart from their families for two or more years, 3,300 foster children are placed in congregate care rather than with relatives or in a home-like setting, and the percentage of foster children over 10 years old who exit foster care through adoption remains at only 25 percent.

Permanent placement of a child in a committed relationship intended to last a lifetime—with the child's family if that is possible or another loving family if it's not—is the goal of the juvenile court process. In proclaiming November Adoption and Permanency month, the Judicial Council acknowledges the ongoing efforts of California's juvenile courts and their justice partners to provide children and families with access to fair, understandable judicial proceedings leading to timely, well-informed, and just permanency outcomes.

For more information about adoption and permanency month visit the National Adoption Month website. The Children's Bureau, in partnership with AdoptUSKids and Child Welfare Information Gateway, supports National Adoption Month. This year, they are focusing on sharing the voices of youth in foster care on why family matters, highlighting the need to ensure the voices of older youth are heard and they are engaged in planning for their own future. In addition, read a message from Jerry Milner, associate commissioner of the Children’s Bureau, and David Kelly, special assistant to the commissioner, on the importance of ensuring appropriate permanency for children while also being mindful of the circumstances that lead to the need for adoption and preventing unnecessary removals through vigorous reasonable efforts.