In addition to the Nielsen family adoption, I recently gave a proposal to the elders of my church dealing with starting an official adoption ministry (with the help of The ABBA Fund).
I wanted to share some of this proposal with you as it sheds light on why our family is adopting and also why it might be a great idea for more churches to start adoption ministries in their respective churches. Shame on us when the pagan government does a better job with orphan care than we as Christians do and government doesn't have any Biblical commands on orphans to fulfill (James 1:27, Deut. 10:18).
I have written more extensively on the Biblical case for orphan care here but in this post I wanted to share some statistics that might awaken our hearts more towards adoption.
Consider the need:In light of need, answering the question, “why adoption?”, quickly turns upon itself to ask a perhaps better question: “Why NOT adoption?”
- It is estimated there are between 143 million and 210 million orphans worldwide (recent UNICEF report.)
- The current population of the United States is just a little over 300 million… to give you an idea of the enormity of the numbers… (The current population of Russia is 141 million)
- Every day 5,760 more children become orphans
- 2,102,400 more children become orphans every year in Africa alone
- Every 15 seconds, another child in Africa becomes an AIDS orphan
- There are an estimated 14 million AIDS orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa (a number higher than the total of every under-eighteen year old in Canada, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Ireland combined)
- This figure is estimated to reach 18 million orphans in Africa alone by 2010 (only two and a half years away)
- 8 out of 10 children orphaned by AIDS lives in sub-saharan Africa
- Approximately 250,000 children are adopted annually, but…
- Each year 14,505,000 children grow up as orphans and age out of the system by age sixteen
- Each day 38,493 orphans age out
- Every 2.2 seconds another orphan ages out with no family to belong to and no place to call home
- In Russia and the Ukraine, studies have shown that 10% - 15% of these children commit suicide before they reach age eighteen
- These studies also show that 60% of the girls become prostitutes and 70% of the boys become hardened criminals
- Another Russian study reported that of the 15,000 orphans aging out of state-run institutions every year, 10% committed suicide, 5,000 were unemployed, 6,000 were homeless and 3,000 were in prison within three years…
(Sources: Human Rights Watch: “Abandoned to the State: Cruelty and Neglect in Russian Orphanages” November 1998 ; www.hfgf.org/statistics.pdf ; www.unaids.org/epi/2005 ; UNICEF’s Childhood Under Threat: the State of the World’s Children, 2005; www.unicef.org/uniteforchildren/)