November is National Adoption Awareness Month in the Commonwealth. While all adoption-related issues are important, the particular focus of this month is the adoption of children currently in foster care. In Virginia, there are 6,086 children in foster care and 1,325 are awaiting adoption. While most children who enter the foster care system are successfully reunited with family, some are waiting for a permanent family through adoption. In Winchester there are currently 32 children in foster care with 2 waiting for a “forever family” through adoption. History of Adoption Month: The first major effort to promote awareness of the need for adoptive families for children in the foster care system occurred in Massachusetts. In 1976, then-Governor Mike Dukakis proclaimed Adoption Week and the idea grew in popularity and spread throughout the nation. President Gerald Ford made the first National Adoption Week proclamation, and in 1990, the week was expanded to a month due to the number of states participating and the number of events. During the month, states, communities, public and private organizations, businesses, families, and individuals celebrate adoption as a positive way to build families. Across the nation, activities and observances such as recognition dinners, public awareness and recruitment campaigns, and special events spotlight the needs of children who need permanent families. It also includes National Adoption Day, traditionally a Saturday, which is observed in courthouses across the nation as hundreds of adoptions are finalized simultaneously. All children deserve a stable, secure home. You can provide that stability and security for a child who must temporarily be away from his family because of serious family problems by becoming a foster parent. The Clarke, Frederick and Winchester (CFW) program is looking for caring families who are willing to be foster parents. The Winchester area needs foster parents who can help children in need. Potential adoptive families are also encouraged to learn more about foster care and adoption, by contacting CFW at 540-771-0893. The state also maintains a hotline that can be reached by calling 800-DO-ADOPT and a web site promoting adoption at www.dss.virginia.gov.