Can you tell me more about your adoption-related outreach? I've heard that Focus on the Family has become actively involved in promoting adoption and ministering to the needs of orphans.
Our Adoption & Orphan Care Initiative™ is designed to raise adoption awareness and recruit parents for children and youth in the U.S. foster care system who are waiting for permanent adoptive families. Currently, there are approximately 100,000 legal orphans in the United States. Our desire is to see local church members "step up" to welcome these children into their homes. We believe this is an achievable goal, as the number of church congregations in this country outweighs the number of children who need to be adopted - at last count, there were more than 300,000 churches in the U.S. alone. As we see it, local congregations are perfectly placed to make a big impact on orphans in this country, and the main goal for this arm of our outreach is to inspire and mobilize the Church to do its part to extend the love and hope of Christ to these needy children.
An integral part of our program is a recruitment event called Wait No More: Finding Families for Waiting Kids, which is coordinated in partnership with local and state child welfare officials, adoption agencies, ministries, and local churches. Through fifteen events in twelve states, we have had more than 8,300 attendees representing over 4,500 families and 2,100 churches. More importantly, to date we've had 2,100 families initiate the process of adopting a waiting child in foster care! We're currently expanding this program to other states. For the most current information we invite you to check out the Wait No More section of our Adoption and Orphan Care Initiative™ website.
While we're excited and encouraged about the interest many Christians are expressing in adoption, we also recognize there are always a variety of challenges that are part of such an undertaking. For this reason, we're attempting to provide quality, relevant post-placement resources for families that include both adoption-competent and biblically sound advice. Among these resources is included the Handbook on Thriving as an Adoptive Family: Real-Life Solutions to Common Challenges, by David Sanford, which can be ordered via our Online Store, or you can call us here at Focus on the Family. You'll find descriptions of the other materials we've compiled in the resource list referenced below.
Saving Kids Caught in Foster Care: Jim Daly offers a vision for churches to save children caught in the foster system, much as the early church scooped babies from the rivers in Rome to save them from infanticide.
Helping Adoptive Families Thrive
Adoption (resource list)
Fostering or Adopting Children from Difficult Backgrounds (resource list)