So, I am a little late to the party seeing as there is only 1 week left of the month. Nonetheless, I wanted to share some statistics on orphans and adoption from around the world.
- 95% of all orphans worldwide are over the age of 5
- As many as 8 million children worldwide live in institutional care (2003)
- Worldwide, over 14.5 million orphans age out of “the system” each year. 60% of the girls turn to prostitution and 70% of the boys become criminals
- Domestically, 23,396 children aged out of the US foster care system in 2012. Of these children: 40% have been homeless, almost 60% of men are convicted of a crime, 50% have a substance abuse problem, 25% do not have a High School diploma, and only 6% finished a 2 or 4 year college degree.
- Think the US doesn’t have orphanages? 58,000 kids live in the US’s version: Group Homes, instead of with a foster family.
Not every family can adopt and adoption isn’t the answer in every child’s case, but for many, a loving family is exactly what they need. Orphaned kids desperately need someone to advocate for them! Adoption is born out of loss, the loss of their birth family, and these kids need someone to walk alongside them through life. There are many organizations out there doing just that. I love the work that organizations like European Adoption Consultants in Ohio is doing to not only place children in need of adoptive families with the right family, but also for the work they are doing to invest in the communities of these children and improve their quality of life. They raise money for everything from school supplies and school tuition to livestock and other necessities. They recently converted several shipping containers into extra space in an over-crowded orphanage. In addition, they provide opportunities for adoptable teens that have almost aged out of their country’s care system to be hosted by a family in the US. The hope is that either their host family or someone in the family’s community will adopt the child. This program has helped over 75% of the participating children find families! Outside of this program, the statistics on the likelihood of a teen being adopted are not encouraging. You can check out all of the ways, other than adoption, that this organization is helping orphans around the world and how you can too! The sad reality is that there are millions of orphans in our world. Adoption isn’t the right solution for all of them, but for some it is. Likewise, adoption isn’t the right fit for every family. And if these stats break your heart like they do mine, see what opportunities to help are available in your community. If local is more your style, I recommend reaching out to the DSHS office that provides foster care placement in your area. Here in Seattle, they are always looking for volunteers and specific item donations. Here are a few Seattle area organizations:
Here are some organizations serving children around the world:
- EAC’s Hope For Kids: Support orphanages around the world
- Tiny Hands International in Nepal: Maintain Children’s Homes and Anti-Trafficking efforts
- Help one Now: Orphan prevention and anti-trafficking in Ethiopia and Uganda
- Grace International Children’s Foundation: Serves orphans in the East African Region