International adoptions by Americans hit a high of 22,884 in 2004, but a series of political shifts have sent that number plummeting to 5,648. In the case of Russia, all adoptions in the U.S. have been halted since 2012, while China and the Ukraine are working to arrange adoptions within the country. Meanwhile, Ethiopia and Guatemala are working hard to root out corruption and child trafficking.
Why this story matters for church leaders:
Adoption has been a major ministry among many churches, but as international adoptions decline, Christians may need to consider other options.
- The Good Reasons for this decline: International adoption can be a tremendous blessing and ministry, but child traffickers and corrupt officials have also turned adoption into a money-making business. Countries with the greatest challenges have delayed adoptions in order to address these needs.
- The Bad Reasons for this decline: International events have prompted some countries to cut off adoptions with the U.S., leaving both adoptive families and children cut off from each other.
- Needs for ministry remain: Stateside adoption remains an option in some cases, and other opportunities to minister with children in need remain, such as foster care and after school programs.
How can your church support families pursuing adoption?
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