If “orphan” were a disease it would be considered a worldwide pandemic.
With the introduction of our new blog, we thought it was very important to have a post dedicated to just the raw statistics. These are the statistics that are not only in our name, but are the numbers that drive us each day to do everything we can to help even just one child. With UNICEF reporting that there are over 140 million in this world, the need for intervention is real and necessary. These 140 million children are either in orphanages, foster care, or roaming the streets – each and every one of these children matter! In the subsequent posts that you will see on our blog, it is our goal to have you learn about how people from all walks of life are stepping up to help these children. Not every family is called to adopt, but we can help in many other ways to support the cause. Below are some of the realities that are ravaging children worldwide:
- The estimated number of total orphans increased from 1990-2001 where it peaked at 155.4 million. Since 2001, the estimated number of total orphans has declined consistently but very slowly – at a rate of only 0.7% per year during this period. Children are often relinquished due to war, natural disasters, poverty, disease, stigma, and medical needs. (UNICEF) There will be an updated number before 2021.
- The United States child-welfare system is being stretched far beyond its capacity as families are devastated by the opioid crisis and other issues. More than 437,000 children are in foster care in the United States, 125,000 of whom have been permanently separated from their family of origin and are waiting for someone to step forward to adopt them — a 23% increase since 2012. (Dave Thomas Foundation)
- About 135,000 children are adopted in the United States each year. Of non – stepparent adoptions, about 59% are from the child welfare (or foster) system, 26% are from other countries, and 15% are voluntarily relinquished American babies. (Adoption Network) Many families are adopting, but there is still a HUGE need for those children that fall in the gap.
- In addition to the statistics above, Orphans or At-Risk Youth have a greater risk of being involved with human trafficking, prostitution, suicides, and jail time.
Below are some other statistics from the United States Foster Care System:
It only takes 1 adult to make a life-long difference in a child’s life.
Interceding and changing the trajectory of their life may not only help them grow and prosper, but it may just save their life.