Twenty-four percent of Americans will consider adopting. Only two percent will actually follow through.
This startling statistic about the state of adoption in America comes from Dr. George Barna, founder of the Barna Research Group and an adoptive father. Barna served as the keynote speaker during New Beginnings International Children’s and Family Services 2015 Celebration of Adoption on October 15.
Barna highlighted the plight of orphans around the world by quantifying the problem:
- 302 Million Orphans Worldwide
- 100,000 Adoptable Children Through U.S. Foster Care System
- 1 out of every 7 Children Worldwide are Orphans
For the crowd gathered to celebrate the hope of adoption last Thursday night, Barna didn’t stop with these startling statistics. He dispelled myths about the cost of adoption, demographics of adoptive parents and the behavior of children in foster care.
Most of all, Barna encouraged guests to support adoptive families and advocate for adoption. Supporters of adoption can help adoptive families by being a listening ear, providing meals and helping with errands and housework during the first few weeks home with a new child. They can also advocate by writing letters to elected officials and being vocal about the need to create consistent adoption laws across state lines, to stop re-homing (moving children from home-to-home without adoption agency or court oversight), to ensure legal representation for adoptive children, to facilitate access to original birth certificates, to fund adoption research and to stop the abuse of medication with foster care children.
Before welcoming Barna for his keynote address, Tom Velie, President of New Beginnings, posthumously awarded the late U.S. Representative Alan Nunnelee with the 2015 Adoption Service Award. Nunnelee’s wife, Tori Nunnelee, and his family accepted the award on behalf of the Representative who passed away earlier this year. During his years of service both on the state and national level, Nunnelee was an active supporter of pro-life and adoption causes and legislation.
Chuck Johnson, President of the National Council for Adoption, and T.J. Armstrong, Business Development Manager of Hawley and Associates, presented New Beginnings with a $5,000 grant from the H&A Caring Fund to aid their new Adoption Support Center. Johnson also recognized Karen Nixon, Director of the New Beginnings Tennessee office, who received the Angel in Adoption award in Washington, D.C. earlier this month.
“The Celebration is a multipurpose event. We celebrate adoption and those involved in the adoption triad—children, birthparents and adoptive parents. Secondly, we raise financial support for adoption so New Beginnings can serve more birthmothers and children from Mississippi and around the world. Finally, we have fun…celebrate…the work we do. We are so grateful to the Tupelo community folks, and to those who come from hundreds of miles away, to celebrate with us each year,” said Velie.