The orphan crisis is a global tragedy. It crosses international borders, racial divides, and economic classes. It impacts children from every walk of life, and something must be done about it.
Here are a few key stats to help better understand the orphan crisis:
- The births of nearly 230 million children under age 5 worldwide (about one in three) have never been officially recorded. Without legal documentation, these children face a higher risk of being trafficked and a smaller chance of finding the love and protection of a family through adoption.
- 81.5 million Americans have considered adoption, but less than one in 500 of these have actually adopted. The reasons for this difference is as wide-ranging as it is complex, although two key factors are the cost of adoption and restrictions in place for sending countries.
- As of 2013, an estimated 17.7 million children worldwide had lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS. Most of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa. Many children living as orphans are now also living with a positive HIV status.
These are just three of the many important facts of the orphan crisis. It’s important to understand the issue we are working to solve, but we can’t let the numbers overwhelm us.
You can’t solve the whole orphan crisis on your own, and that’s okay.
Each of those numbers is not just a number — it is a real child, and every child needs to know the love of a family. You can take actions to help change the life of a child for the better.