There are an estimated 147 million orphans worldwide. Some estimate this number closer to 210 million (the US population is just a little over 300 million to give you some perspective on that number.) Shockingly, this number does NOT include trafficked or abandoned children.
The total number of orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa is greater than the total number of children in Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Canada and Sweden. There are currently an estimated 53 million orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa. Of those children, 30% lost parents to the AIDS epidemic.
There are currently 68.9 million orphans in Asia, giving this region the largest absolute number of orphans in the world.
Roughly 5% of all children in Latin America are orphans (10.2 million in total), with 1.2 million orphaned in 2010 alone. Even before the tragic earthquake in Haiti, over 15% of children were estimated to be orphans, more than twice the regional average.
There are over 500,000 children in the foster care system in the United States. In Texas, there are over 15,000 children in foster care. Many of these children are waiting for a forever family, but instead eventually age out of the system without one.
These numbers seem overwhelming and impossible.
So, what can we do?
But, when a decision is made to ADOPT, that gigantic number becomes ONE LESS.
As we have journeyed down our own road to adoption, God has taught us many things. He has revealed new truths to us and refined our motives. These are the things He has made clear to us about adoption:
We know that God’s heart is FOR adoption.
“You are helper of the fatherless. LORD, you have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause your ear to hear, to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, That the man of the earth may oppress no more….” Psalm 10:14, 17-18
Not everyone is called to adopt, but everyone is called to help the orphan.
“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress…” James 1:27
All it takes is one small step (and a giant leap of faith).
If God is speaking to you about adoption, start researching. Start asking questions. Those first little steps can speak volumes about where God is leading you. The adoption journey is a million tiny little steps. Sometimes you may even feel like you are going backwards. But, the story of redemption is the same again and again. God first loved us so that we could love others. There are literally millions of children without a loving family. A journey of a million little steps is not that far when you consider where you are headed.
You can impact an orphan’s life today. You may not be called to adopt but you can support those who are.
100% of all donations through the form below directly supports adoptive and foster families through annual One Less grants. Learn more about One Less grants.