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Public Papers - 1989 - November

Remarks on Signing the National Adoption Week Proclamation

1989-11-21

Secretary Sullivan and Senators Hatch and Humphrey and Congressman Smith, and all the children gathered here today and their families: Welcome to the White House.

This week we gather with our families to give our blessings and to celebrate the start of the holiday season. And as our thoughts turn to our families, it gives me particular pleasure to proclaim November 20th through the 26th National Adoption Week.

Each year more than 50,000 American children are adopted into new families to be loved and cherished. And each child returns one hundredfold the special joy that comes from belonging, from caring, and from sharing together. Yet thousands more continue to wait. This year an estimated 30,000 children, available for adoption, will spend their Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays without a permanent family. Most of these kids, about 60 percent, are special-needs children. Some are older, some are brothers and sisters who want to stay together, some have disabilities; but they all have special love to give.

Millions of Americans have been touched by adoption: birth parents, adoptive parents, and grandparents. Over a million childless couples and singles long for families of their own. Adoption is not something that we celebrate only one week of the year. In September I introduced the Special-Needs Adoption Assistance Act of 1989. And under this act, an individual would be permitted to deduct up to ,000 from income those expenses incurred in the adoption of a special-needs child. We must make adoption a true national concern and alternative.

So, to Senator Orrin Hatch and Congressman Chris Smith, the sponsors of National Adoption Week, and to Secretary Sullivan, who has helped this administration encourage and assist those who are trying to adopt, we thank you. And to the children and the families gathered here who stand as testimony to the fact that adoption works for everyone, I thank you for being with us today at the White House as I proclaim this week National Adoption Week. And I'm now pleased to sign this proclamation, and understand that I will have some very special witnesses over here. [Laughter]

Thank you all for coming. Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Note: The President spoke at 1:09 p.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. The proclamation is listed in Appendix E at the end of this volume.

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