November is National Adoption Month, and we are more than willing to talk about this important issue. It is all too common for children to grow up without stable homes, and this often affects their lives as adults as well. In fact, according to statistics posted on the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) website:
- In the U.S. 397,122 children are living without permanent families in the foster care system. 101,666 of these children are eligible for adoption, but nearly 32% of these children will wait over three years in foster care before being adopted.
- Around the world, there are an estimated 153 million orphans who have lost one parent. There are 17,900,000 orphans who have lost both parents and are living in orphanages or on the streets and lack the care and attention required for healthy development. These children are at risk for disease, malnutrition, and death.
- Children raised in orphanages have an IQ 20 points lower than their peers in foster care, according to a meta-analysis of 75 studies (more than 3,800 children in 19 countries).
- In 2012, 23,396 youth aged out of the U.S. foster care system without the emotional and financial support necessary to succeed. Nearly 40% had been homeless or couch surfed, nearly 60% of young men had been convicted of a crime, and only 48% were employed. 75% of women and 33% of men receive government benefits to meet basic needs. 50% of all youth who aged out were involved in substance use and 17% of the females were pregnant.
- As of 2012, more than 58,000 children in the U.S. foster care system were placed in institutions or group homes, not in traditional foster homes.
As we can see by these striking statistics, it is so important for children to grow up in a stable home environment. In fact, Proverbs 22:6 tells parents to, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” How different would some of these statistics look if those children had grown up in a loving, Christian environment where they were taught the Word!
Adoption is a beautiful picture of Christ’s grace and love. We would urge anyone facing an unplanned pregnancy and unable to raise a baby to consider giving their child the chance to be “trained in the way he should go” through adoption into a loving family. We would also encourage families to consider being involved in the blessing of adoption by either considering adoption for themselves, or supporting ministries and organization that help to make adoption possible.