Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 105 Part 3.djvu/875

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PROCLAMATION 6383—NOV. 27, 1991 105 STAT. 2759 Proclamation 6383 of November 27, 1991 National Adoption Week, 1991 By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation Adoption is a wonderful act of love, generosity, and lifelong commitment—virtues that have always gone hand in hand with building a family. This week, we acknowledge the many rewards that adoption holds for children, for parents, and for our Nation. More than 50,000 American children are adopted each year. These youngsters are as eager to give love as they are to gain permanent homes and families of their own. Indeed, any adult who has been blessed with an adopted child or grandchild knows what tremendous affection and joy that youngster brings to the lives of others. Although the actual process may include moments of anticipation, frustration, and worry, adoption benefits each of the parties involved—including the biological mother who, for whatever reason, cannot keep her child and courageously decides to give him or her the chance to enjoy life in a secure, loving environment. Because strong, loving families are the foundation of stable, caring communities and nations, adoption also enriches our entire country. Tragically, however, despite the many benefits of adoption, thousands of children continue to wait. Approximately 36,000 children in the United States who are legally available for adoption are living in foster care or in institutions. Many of these children are characterized as special needs children: older children and children with disabilities, children with siblings who need to be adopted by the same family, or members of a minority group. Regardless of the individual needs they may have, all of these children long for the kind of permanent homes and loving families that most of us have always been able to take for granted. As a Nation, we have begun to dismantle legal, financial, and attitudinal barriers to adoption. This progress has been made possible, in large part, by the vigorous efforts of concerned public officials, parents, social workers, attorneys, counselors, members of the clergy, and others. However, because every child deserves the special love and support that only a family can provide, we still have much work to do. We must continue to promote public awareness of adoption and to find ways of bringing prospective parents together with the thousands of children who continue to wait. We must also continue to offer encouragement and assistance to those courageous women who, despite the pressures of a crisis 'pregnancy, reject abortion and choose life for their imborn children. The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 207, has designated the week of November 24 through November 30, 1991, as "National Adoption Week" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this occasion. NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week of November 24 through No-