"Every child deserves a safe, loving, permanent family of his or her own. That’s a basic human need."
- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
(Wow! Who would have guessed Hillary Clinton and I agree on something?)
The Orphan Crisis World Wide
The exact number of orphaned children in the world is hard to know. Estimates are from 143 million to 210 million (depending on how orphan is defined and if abandoned children are included in the estimate.)
The Crisis in America
In the the US, there are 500,000 children in foster care. Many of these children are temporarily in foster care and will be reunited with their families. However, 130,000 of these children are waiting to be adopted. These children cannot return to their birth family. Their parent's rights have been terminated due to repeated neglect or abuse. How many of these children will grow up bouncing from foster family to foster family until they age out of the foster system? About 30,000 adolescents age out of the foster care system each year.
One child without a family is one too many.
"I always wondered why somebody doesn't do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody."
- Lilly Tomlin
No one person can solve the problem of orphans, and there is no one solution. I cannot be a parent to millions of children, but I can be a parent to two children.
November is National Adoption Month. This month, will you pray about what you can do to help the fatherless? Could you sponsor a child in another country so he can stay with his birth family instead of being abandoned simply because his family was too poor to care for him? (Compassion International has a great sponsor program.) Could you foster a child who has been temporarily removed from her birth family? Could you adopt a child either domestically or internationally?
I pray God's children everywhere will answer the call in James 1:27 to care for the fatherless children of this world.
"Any society, any nation, is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members -- the last, the least, the littlest."
- Cardinal Roger Mahony