Tuesday, November 24, 1998


We sometimes speak of the comforts of home as the 'small blessings'; but, when you look in the eyes of these grateful children and their adoptive families, we remember that there are few greater blessings. I would like to encourage more families to follow the example of those who join us here today --to open their arms, and their hearts, to children who need loving homes.

President Bill Clinton
November 24, 1998

Today, President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton will host a ceremony at the White House in honor of National Adoption Month and 24 new adoptive families in the District of Columbia. The President will issue a new directive to the Department of Health and Human Services to expand the use of the Internet as a tool to find homes for children waiting to be adopted from foster care.

Using The Internet To Meet The President's Goals For Adoption. In 1996, President Clinton set a goal of doubling, by the year 2002, adoptions and other permanent placements from the public child welfare system. Since then, adoptions have increased; from 1996 to 1997 alone, adoptions increased by over 10 percent, from 28,000 to 31,000. Today, the President is directing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop a plan to expand the use of the Internet to share information about children who are legally free for adoption in order to shorten the time needed to find them adoptive families. HHS estimates that approximately 100,000 children in our nation's foster care system cannot return to their birth families and need families to adopt them. An effective national registry will help to break down geographic barriers to adoption and assist in meeting the President's adoption goal. HHS Secretary Donna Shalala will report to the President within 60 days on a plan to work with the states and other leaders to carry out this effort.

A Solid Record Of Achievement. Today's announcement builds on a deep commitment by the President, the First Lady, and the Administration to facilitate adoptions and improve the child welfare system:

The White House Briefing Room
The White House at Work Archives