The Facts

This post is a part of our Orphan Awareness Month series in November 2014 to advocate, educate, and spark discussion about topics relating to adoption and orphan care.  To check out the other posts in the OAM series, click here.


What if I can’t love an adopted child like I would love a biological child?

It’s too expensive.

It takes too long.

It sounds too difficult and too emotional.

What if it negatively effects my family/children/marriage?

I’m too old/young/single/married/divorced/un-wealthy/busy/unprepared/_____.

What I really want is a baby.

I don’t know how an adopted child would turn out.

I’m not a good enough parent to parent a “damaged” child.

Most of them have special needs or health issues, and I can’t handle that.


left behind


What is the state of the world’s children?

22 million children are refugees or internally displaced, forced to flee their homes due to violence or natural disaster.

One in five children living in developing countries is severely underweight.

19,000 children under the age of five died every day in 2011.

67 million children of primary school age do not go to school.

Over 1 billion children live in countries affected by armed conflict.

Over 1 billion children suffer from at least one form of severe deprivation of basic needs such as water, food, and sanitation.

An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked every year.

2 million children, the majority of them girls, are sexually exploited in the multibillion-dollar commercial sex industry.

Children suffer from domestic violence everywhere. On every continent, households report domestic violence against children at rates ranging from 20 to 60%.


What is the state of the world’s orphans?

Every day 5,760 more children become orphans.

It is estimated there are between 143 million and 210 million orphans worldwide. (These orphan numbers DON’T include abandonment (millions of children) as well as sold and/or trafficked children. 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.)

HIV/AIDS has orphaned 17.9 million children.

There are 17,900,000 orphans who have lost both parents and are living in orphanages or on the streets and lack the care and attention required for healthy development.

Children without a consistent, loving caregiver are at the greatest risk of harm in terms of attachment disorder, developmental delay and neural atrophy in the developing brain.

According to data released in 2003, as many as eight million boys and girls around the world live in institutional care.

Violence in residential institutions is six times higher than violence in foster care.

Children in group care are almost four times more likely to experience sexual abuse than children in family based care.

Children raised in orphanages have an IQ 20 points lower than their peers in foster care.


What happens to kids who are not adopted?

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.

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.

Of orphans aging out of state-run institutions every year, 10% commit suicide, 30% are unemployed, 40% are homeless and 20% are in prison within three years.


Are they worth our excuses?

“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”  – James 1:27



Statics from studies done by:

  • World Bank
  • The United Nations
  • SOS
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