Did you know that 33 million of the 1.2 billion people living in India are orphans? This includes children with one parent, children who have lost both parents, and street children. While 33 MILLION seems like an unfathomable number of orphans, they only represent 4% of India's population. To bring home those children who are eligible for adoption, only 1% of the Indian population would need to step up as adoptive parents. Our national partner there says this is "no problem"... getting 1% of 1.2 billion people to wake up and act on behalf of these children is not an impossible dream. And that is just what our national partner is doing. He is traveling around all regions of India to raise awareness for orphans and offer practical ways for people to respond.
Last year there were only 4,000 adoptions in India. What is preventing families from taking in foster children or adopting?
1. Adoption and foster care is counter-cultural. It is not natural for families to care for children that are not their own. There are several factors that contribute to this including the caste system, extended family acceptance, fear of getting a child with severe emotional problems or special needs and not being able to manage them. The answer? Raising awareness of the need and equipping those with a heart for these children to respond. Education on how to care for children that come from hard places is essential.
2. Money. A large majority of India's population is a very poor. Many families struggle to care for their own biological relatives. Though a $700 adoption fee may sound affordable to us, it's a huge hurdle for families living on $150/month. If we come alongside these families and help them get the resources they need to bring a child into their family, we break down a major barrier holding families back from adopting.
3. Fear of the process and corruption. The adoption process in India is daunting, but not impossible. It is sad to think that families who have made the decision to welcome an orphan into their lives may never be able to because of an expensive, lengthy, and often corrupt process. Thankfully, our national partners in India have a growing network that adoptive parents can utilize to help them navigate the process confidently and without fear.
India is a beautiful country with beautiful people. Let's help the 1% adopt these precious children!
You can help 4-year-old Arjun escape a lifetime of loneliness and fear!
An Indian couple wants to adopt him but needs help with the legal and processing fees. Read more.