Ronald Reagan picture

Proclamation 5411—National Adoption Week, 1985

November 15, 1985

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

The basic unit of our society is the family. Families transmit the values and traditions of the past. They are the primary civilizing agent, preparing the young for good citizenship. It is, therefore, fitting that we give special recognition to those generous families that encourage and take part in adoption.

Children who live in a permanent home with caring adoptive parents are far less likely to develop emotional and psychological problems. We must encourage the effort to promote the adoption of all children without families—with particular emphasis on those who are older, handicapped, or members of minority groups. Whenever possible, the adoption process should work to keep siblings together as they are placed in new families.

Through promotional efforts in the workplace and through inclusion of adoption benefits in employee benefit plans, the American corporate sector has been supporting the adoption of children with special needs. Furthermore, through the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act, many children with special needs have been adopted who otherwise might not have been.

National Adoption Week should remind us that no woman need fear that the child she carries is unwanted. It is a sad paradox that while thousands of American couples desperately desire to adopt a baby, many women who undergo abortions every year in the United States are unaware of all the couples eager to share their home with a newborn and to give that child all the love and care they would give if they had been its natural parents. Adoption is an alternative that provides family life for children who cannot live with their biological parents, and it is especially fitting that at Thanksgiving time we emphasize the importance of family life through the observance of National Adoption Week.

This week provides an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to give every child waiting to be adopted the chance to become part of a family. During this holiday season, let us work to encourage community acceptance and support for adoption, and take time to recognize the efforts of adoptive parent groups, companies, organizations, and agencies that assure adoptive placements for waiting children. We also pay tribute to those magnanimous people who have opened their homes and hearts to children, forming the bonds of love that we call the family.

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 51, has designated the week of November 24 through November 30, 1985, as "National Adoption Week" and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week of November 24 through November 30, 1985, as National Adoption Week, and I call on all Americans and governmental and private agencies to observe the week with appropriate activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and tenth.

Signature of Ronald Reagan


Ronald Reagan, Proclamation 5411—National Adoption Week, 1985 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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