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Connecting orphans with families: New insights from the front lines

More than 400,000 children are currently part of the US foster care system, while 100,000 children are in need of adoption. How should we respond to these staggering realities?

During a discussion at AEI on Wednesday, Kathy Edin, a self-proclaimed “adoption evangelist” and mother of two adopted daughters, described the unique challenges facing foster care and adoptive parents, but also spoke of the transformational power of fostering and adopting. She portrayed adoption as the beginning of a difficult and wonderful journey for adoptive families.

foster.care_.adoption.event_.large_.pngThrough DC127, an initiative that aims to mobilize local churches around this issue, Aaron Graham said he hopes to “reverse the list” in Washington, DC, so that there are more families waiting for children than there are children waiting for families. Jason Weber of the Christian Alliance for Orphans shared stories of similar work being done in Colorado, Florida, and Oklahoma. When it comes to caring for children, Weber explained, we are all dominoes with the ability to tilt in one direction and affect countless others.

Finally, Matt Weidinger of the House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support discussed the impact of federal funding and regulations on foster care and adoption, noting that lawmakers are moving in the right direction but still have much work to do. While not everyone is called or equipped to adopt or to provide foster care, everyone does have a unique role to play in caring for children who lack parental care.