Each year, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) honors adoption advocates from every state in our nation through the Angels in Adoption® Program.

The inaugural program took place a year after CCAI’s founding in 2002. Every September since, individuals and organizations from around the country who have made exceptional contributions to adoption, foster care, permanency, and child welfare are honored by their Member of Congress.

This year’s honorees descended on Washington, D.C. on September 25th for the first day of a three-day program. The Angels in Adoption® honorees began their time in our nation’s capital with an Adoption and Foster Care Advocacy fair, a tour of the U.S. Capitol, and an evening reception. September 26th is the most special day for the Angels in that they receive their Angels in Adoption® pins from their respective Member of Congress and enjoy a breakfast or luncheon with the members in their honor.

The grand finale of the experience culminates with the Angels in Adoption® Gala which took place this year on September 27th at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. The Gala is one the most inspiring Washington, DC events. In the past it has claimed to have the largest Member of Congress participation of Congressional Gala. This elegant event seeks to bring awareness to the millions of children around the globe living outside of family care.

This direct interaction of adoptive parents, child welfare advocates, and organizations with policy makers fulfills the longstanding mission of CCAI of “raising awareness about the millions of children around the world in need of permanent, safe, and loving homes and to eliminating the barriers that hinder these children from realizing their basic right to a family.”

As the former International Program Director for the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, there was something so special about watching the individuals, families, and organizations who believe that every child deserves the right to a forever family be awarded for their incredible work.

Past recipients of the National Angels in Adoption Award include Muhammad Ali, Bruce Willis, Former First Lady Laura Bush, Jane Seymour, Kristin Chenoweth, Katherine Heigl and Josh Kelley, Kori and Willie Robertson, Al Roker, Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, Nia Vardalos, Deborra-Lee Furness, Patti LaBelle, Ne-Yo, Rhea Perlman, Scott Fujita, Shonda Rhimes, Connie Britton, Rachel Crow, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Hallmark Channel, and People Magazine.

More information on the Angels in Adoption® Program and specifics on how you can nominate a 2018 Angel in Adoption can be found at //www.ccainstitute.org/programs/view/angels-in-adoption-honorees.