According to recent estimates, there are more than 153 million orphaned children in the world. That number can be misleading and varies widely depending on who you ask and your definition of orphan. However, to be sure, no single policy, social service program or method of care can remedy every problem vulnerable families and children face in this country, much less the entire world. There’s a growing, unifying theme globally in caring for orphaned and vulnerable children which we strongly support: family preservation.
Children are created to grow up in families and research shows that they develop, learn and function better in loving, nurturing, family environments. Fund Your Adoption believes in preserving, stabilizing and strengthening the capacity of immediate and extended families everywhere. Although this site focuses on helping families finance their adoptions, we strive to be part of the larger, interconnected movement among governments, religious leaders and NGOs to provide the best long-term care options for children and families. Below is the spectrum and priority of care for orphaned and vulnerable children.
- Strengthening their own immediate and extended families
- Reuniting children in care with their own families
- Foster/Transition Care
International adoption plays a small role in the solution. It is not the first or only option. We need to build all of these methods concurrently, to produce a range of family care options for children. Efforts to support orphaned and vulnerable children should incorporate the importance of family and a holistic approach that addresses each aspect of the children’s well-being: physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual.
Did you notice that orphanages, children’s homes and long-term residential care facilities (even the very best) are not on the list of solutions for permanent placement of children?
According to Transform World, “orphanages and child care institutions are the least effective and often most detrimental forms of care for orphans. We understand the use of these facilities as emergency placement options for some children, but we should not consider them an adequate permanent placement for any child.” We agree.
Every year, thousands of children age out of the US foster care system and institutional care around the globe without ever knowing the love and support of a permanent family. This reality is unacceptable. Economic empowerment through education, vocational training, life skills, financial stewardship, and leadership development, is critical to ending the vicious cycle and preventing the breakdown of families. However, even the very best economic empowerment program cannot replace the love, identity and relationships of family. As a result, we are passionate about keeping children in families, out of orphanages and playing a small role in the solution.