Millions and millions of children are stuck. Many children become "stuck" in their birth countries for months and often years, many times even when they have an adoptive family here waiting for them, due to ridiculous and perilous procedures and polices to get them home.
International adoptions have greatly decreased. Over the past 5 years, they've decrease by about 50%, from 19,608 a year down to 9,320 a year. These numbers are scary given the fact that there are MILLIONS needing a home.
Some countries are having to build "super" orphanages to house them all, some holding as many as 750 kids in one building. They are building these at a rate that exceeds the growth rate of adoptions.
Children who are not adopted live out their childhood in orphanages. In some countries, they "age out" at the age of 14, from which point they are on their own. No family, no home, nothing.
The decrease in adoptions is due in part to policies in place that make adoption a very long and costly process.
The average adoption costs $28,000 and takes nearly 3 years.
Another reason for the decrease in adoptions is complacency. We are too consumed with building Super Walmarts and Targets to let ourselves be affected by what's going on in these super orphanages. We feel like we can't do anything to help. But we can.
An organization called Both Ends Burning is working on a very important campaign to help the world of adoption. This campaign is aimed at getting signatures on an online petition by May 16; the next day, copies of the petition will be given to legislators on Capitol Hill in the Step Forward for Orphans March in hopes to inspire them to promote a culture of adoption and to implement policy change.
I just signed the petition "MAKE A CHILD'S RIGHT TO A FAMILY OUR PRIORITY" on Change.org.
It's important. Will you sign it too?
There's also an amazing documentary called "Stuck" that we just watched online. It follows several families and their "stuck" children through the international adoption process. It's a very moving and informational video, I highly recommend you watching it and sharing it with family and friends.
The documentary poses the question, "How long should a child be denied a family because of missing paperwork?" .
These children deserve a chance. Let's help them out. Start here: