I’ve never had as many people reading my blog as I do now, so I’m going to take advantage of your readership to post this. Please read it!
- The most recent estimate is that there are approximately 145 million orphans in the world (UNICEF 2008). For this number, an orphan is defined as a child who has lost one or both parents.
- More than 15 million children have lost one or both parents to AIDS, over 11.6 million of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa.
- In 2007 67.5 million Children in South Asia and East Asia had lost one or both parents due to all causes.
- Included in the 2008 estimate of 145 million orphans are more than 92 million that have a surviving mother—-with whom they most likely live.
- Another 38 million have a surviving father.
- The UNICEF orphan numbers DON’T include abandonment (millions of children) as well as sold and/or trafficked children.
- The UNICEF orphan numbers DON’T include many non-reporting nations (namely, Middle Eastern Islamic nations) where shame and divorce abandonment are rampant. 200,000 + orphans in Iraq, for instance, are not part of the count.
- 130,000 of those children in foster care are waiting and available for adoption. Children waiting to be adopted include children with a goal of adoption and/or whose parental rights have been terminated. Children whose parental rights have been terminated, who are 16 years old and older, and who have a goal of emancipation are excluded from the “waiting” population. An individual child is included in the count for each year that he or she has these characteristics on the last day of the year.
- Approximately 51,000 children are adopted from the foster system each year.
- That leaves 79,000 children annually in the US needing an adoptive family.
Those numbers upset me. And I know how easy it is to read over statistics without really letting them sink in. But, each is a real child with a real need for the love of a family. Each of these babies at the Home were a part of those statistics at one time.
These statistics were part of the reason I went from desiring to adopt so I would have a cute little baby from another country to a consideration of the larger implications of orphans, adoption, and my faith.