As an adoption agency, Choice Network sees first-hand the thousands of older children – not just newborns and babies – who are waiting to be adopted. We see kids, like Buneka, torn from their first families. Whose parents struggle with the demons of drug and alcohol addiction, and are unable to take care of their kids.
We see first-hand the adoption agencies who are exploiting international adoptions, taking kids from their homes and parents. We know the heartbreak of having to ‘re-home’ a child who is the result of a failed international adoption. A child torn from not one, but two families.
We know the emotional, mental and physical struggles a foster care child goes through after spending eight years in foster care and enduring two failed adoptions. But we also know the triumph and love that comes from a successful adoption of an older child.
For the last 30 days during National Adoption Month, we shared the stories behind the numbers: the more than 23,000 kids who age out of foster care; how the drug epidemic in America is forcing more kids into foster care; or, how 19 percent of same-sex couples have at least one adopted child.
There are 30 waiting families for every one baby available for adoption. But, there are more than 100,000 kids in foster care, group homes and institutions right here in America who are waiting to be adopted. Right here in our home state of Ohio, there are 435 kids. What if, the hearts of those 30 waiting families were changed? What if, those 30 waiting families opened their hearts and homes to adopting one of the 100,000 older children in foster care? Behind every statistic, there is a child waiting to be welcomed into a home where they can feel safe.
The hard work of National Adoption Month doesn’t stop here. We’ll continue to fight for the rights of pregnant people, giving them ALL options, including open adoption, abortion and parenting.We’ll continue to dedicate our lives to connecting families, who truly feel in their hearts the time is now to welcome a child into their home through adoption, with the resources needed to successfully do so. Because every child, young or old, deserves to have a home and a family.
We’re on a mission to change the hearts of those 30 families, opening their minds and hearts to adopting an older child. We hope our dedication to National Adoption Month begins to open the hearts of waiting families, and that one less child will be in foster care come November 2018.