The President and Mrs. Bush are encouraging more people to adopt children. VOA Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, they marked America's National Adoption Day with a ceremony at the White House.

More than 100,000 American children are currently in foster care, and they wait an average of three years to find a family willing to adopt them.

Marking National Adoption Day, President Bush thanked the child welfare agencies and adoption advocates who work to match children with new families.

"Few missions in life are more rewarding than uniting loving children with moms and dads for the very first time," said Mr. Bush.

The president welcomed adopted children to the East Room of the White House, children who he says have strengthened families, enriched communities, and warmed hearts.

"You are the living reminders that adoptions are stories of celebration, stories of hope, and stories of love. National Adoption Day also reminds us that not every child finds this happy family," he added.

While four of every ten American families say they have considered adoption, far fewer follow through. First Lady Laura Bush says that if one in every 500 families adopted children from foster care, every child would have a home.

"Adoption is a hopeful act. It recognizes that every child has limitless potential for success and limitless capacity for love. It is an act that has brought joy to millions of American families, including ours," she noted.

The President and Mrs. Bush are the adoptive uncle and aunt of a niece and nephew.