As Christian advocates for adoption, foster care and global orphan initiatives begin gathering in Louisville for Summit VII, an article in today’s Washington Times reports, “Increase in adoptions spells fewer children on rolls, shorter waits.”
The article describes, “After years of bad press, the nation’s foster care system is finally generating numbers worth raving about: Adoptions are at a record high, fewer children are waiting for permanent families and their average wait time has shrunk by a year…” Top stats for 2009 include:
• Adoptions from foster care reached a record high of 57,000, up from 37,000 in 1998.
• The number of children waiting for adoption fell to a record low of 115,000, down from 135,000 in 2006.
• The average wait to be adopted fell to a record low 35 months, down from 48 months in 1998.
• The likelihood a waiting child would be adopted in a year rose to 45 percent, up from an average 39 percent over the previous decade.
cNo doubt, many factors have helped drive this positive trend, from the adoption tax credit to wise Federal and state policy changes made over the past decade. But it is not mere speculation to conclude that the burgeoning Christian engagement in foster care and adoption—observed from the Wall Street Journal to the NY York Times to the Denver Post—is a major piece of the puzzle. This expanded response is the work of local Christians and their church communities, motivated and facilitated by tremendous ministries like Focus on the Family’s “Wait No More,” Project 1.27, the CALL of Arkansas, 4KIDS of South Florida, Safe Families and other Alliance member organizations and churches.
It’s thrilling to realize that veterans from each of these organizations will be teaching workshops at Summit. They’ll be equipping individuals from across the U.S. on how to grow effective, church-based action in the foster system. And individuals will return from Louisville to cities across the nation eager to do so. I believe the story is just beginning…