Orphan Prevention – doing things that prevent children from becoming orphans. What sort of “things” might those be? Here’s a sample list…..
- Job Creation
- Medical Care
- Emergency Housing Assistance
Those are all things that help families stay together and prevents them from having to bring their children to an orphanage because they can’t care for them.
If you have a decent paying job, you can afford to feed your children.
If you have a decent paying job, you can afford to take your child(ren) to the doctor.
If you have a decent paying job, you can afford to live somewhere reasonable, relatively safe and relatively healthy.
If you have a decent paying job, you can afford to send your children to school.
If you have a decent paying job, even if something happens and you need emergency help with your housing (think Hurricane Matthew) you should be able to rebound soooner.
If quality medical care is available for a reasonable price, then you and your family should be able to return to being healthy sooner.
If quality medical care is available then children in the third world won’t die from diseases that are readily preventable or curable in the first world.
If quality medical care is available then maternal mortality rates (the number of mothers who die in childbirth) will drop. This will decrease the number of families where a grieving widower brings his children to an orphanage because he knows that without his wife, he can’t work and take care of the little ones well enough to keep them alive.
If quality schooling is available and is reasonably affordable, then children will be able to learn how to read, write and function as adults in society. If it takes 70% of dad’s income to send one kid to school, that is not reasonably priced, especially if Dad has 4 kids to send to school.
So those are all things that, if we can improve them, we can improve the chances of children staying with their birth families. If we can improve the chances, we can avoid children having to go through the trouble and trauma of moving from one family to another family. If we can improve the chances, we can avoid the grief and guilt that birth parents feel for having “abandoned” their child(ren).
Does that work for everyone? No, it doesn’t. There are always going to be situations where it is not possible for children to stay with their birth families. Criminals, child abusers, drug addicts, parents who have passed away – those are just examples of the type of situations where it is not possible for a child to stay with their birthparents.
Is it possible to be both in favor of orphan prevention and adoption? Yes it is. With one big caveat…..
“It is possible to be pro-adoption as long as you also are in favor of orphan prevention as a way to keep families together and drastically reduce the number of orphans in need of a new family.”
Did you hear that? You need to do both at the same time. At the same time that you are putting in place efforts to support at-risk families, you also need to realize that there are children who are going to need a new home and we need to support and encourage the adoption of those children as quickly as possible while still doing it in a way that supports the kids and their emotional and physical health.
You can’t totally shut down adoptions because there will always be some children who need new families.
But many estimates show that upwards of 60 to 70% of the children who are in orphanages could be with their biological family if they had access to a decent job, good medical care and more.
So, yes, it is possible to support orphan prevention and adoption at the same time.
If they are both done right, it’s not only possible, it’s advisable.
It’s not only advisable, it’s what God meant when he said, “The least of these…….”