Dear America,

Adoption.

It’s not a notarized signature on an adoption certificate. Or a raised government seal from the State. It’s not a third installment to an adoption agency. Or a signature of relinquishment from a first/birth parent. It’s not even a court decree that says “finalized.”

Because adoptions are not transactions.
Adoptions are transformations.
And transformation is a journey.

But, even after decades of lived experience and research from DAI and others, our current system still so often treats adoption as if it’s just a transaction on a piece of paper.

We know family preservation is best practice.
We know openness is a better policy.
We know that the foster care system needs more care and more resources.
We know that pre- and post-adoption services are critical.
We know that LGBTQ parents are parents no matter what state they live in.
We know that the definition of a modern family is constantly evolving.
We know that the Internet is changing everything.
We know that differences in race, class and culture impact adoption.
We know that a more uniform system which treats adoption as a lifelong transformation, and not a transaction, will lead to better futures and stronger families.

With all that we know, and with all that has changed, we still have more work to do.

Take a bold step with us as we lead a conversation with adopted people, parents (first/birth and adoptive) and professionals designed to accelerate positive change in perceptions and behaviors.

Together, we will make adoption about building strong families instead of just building toward a final court date.

Together, we’ll show the world that adoption is not a mere transaction, but a lifelong transformation.

Let’s ignite conversations.
Let’s strengthen families.
Let’s Adopt Reform!

Sincerely,
The Donaldson Adoption Institute

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