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Red Letters

Adoptions are in a 40% Decline

With 150 million orphans in the world, we should be seeing a dramatic increase in the number of orphans who are adopted every year in the United States. But sadly, the opposite is true. Adoptions have been decreasing every year since 2004.

A new article in the May edition of Christianity Today says this, "Since 2004, these and other restrictions have resulted in a 40 percent decline in overseas adoptions by Americans—from an all-time high of almost 23,000 in 2004 to fewer than 12,800 in 2009, according to the U.S. State Department."


Although there are some incredible people who understand God's heart for adoption, they are still the minority when it comes to this issue. If 7% of those claiming to be Christians adopted one child, all 150 million orphans would have homes. 

Second, the battle continues to rage over the lives of orphans around the world. Make no mistake about it, "our enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour," I Peter 5:8. Orphans are easy targets. 

My friend Jedd Medefind from The Christian Alliance for Orphans had this to say, "The drop in international adoptions since 2004 does not signal a stagnating willingness among American families to adopt overseas, and he argues that evangelicals in particular have increased interest."


I would say this is absolutely true. With almost 1,500 people at Summit VI in Minneapolis April 29 & 30, people are more passionate than every about adoption and orphan care. 

The reality is that we still have a lot to do. Orphans are worth the fight. We have to press through government regulations, fear, and spiritual warfare to care for the least of these. This is God's heart and it should be the heart of every Christian. 

"A Father to the Fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families." Psalm 68:5,6

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posted May 13, 2010 at 11:33 am

I agree wholeheartedly with what you are saying, but lately I’ve heard of quite a few families who have run into a number of obstacles with the adoption process that make it seem almost impossible to adopt a child from overseas. It seems to be more difficult now than it did 10-20 years ago to go through the international adoption process.

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Tom Davis

posted May 13, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Karen, this is true. When we adopted from Russia, it was quite easy. Now, extremely difficult. The same with China, Guatemala is now closed, Ethiopia is becoming more difficult. We need to pray this becomes easier.

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A Facebook User

posted May 14, 2010 at 5:34 pm

GREAT article!

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Anna L. Erickson

posted June 9, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Tom, thank you for saying it like it is. Was looking for a particular post on Haiti and came across this one. We need to get this message out and go for the doors that are open today. I’m a Social Worker and adoptive mother. I so enjoyed being with ya’ll at Summit VI. It was awesome to be with like-hearted people from all over and consider what God wants to do through us! I’ve followed and prayed for you and Seth Barnes for some time now. It’s great to know you guys are on the cutting edge of all this. I guess I’m wondering how I can be involved in my own back yard (Texas) for now and how I can motivate churches in my area to make a difference on behalf of orphans here, similar to what CO has done in changing those statistical numbers and seeing children placed in forever homes. I’ll be involved with Nt’l Orphan Sunday (Nov 7th, 2010); if you have other ideas of how I might motivate and encourage others to catch the vision please let me know!

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