This week of Valentines, with its pink lacy hearts, chocolates, and focus on love, is an appropriate week to also be the Week of the Waiting Child. In honor of this Week of the Waiting Child, Creating a Family is pleased as punch to announce the launch of our new and improved Waiting Child Center. (more about that later)
Who are these children who wait?
US Waiting Kids
According to the latest statistics, 111,820 children are waiting to be adopted in the US. These are children whose parental rights have already been terminated. Who are these kiddos?
They are kids who live in every state in the US; they are kids who like World Wide Wrestling, reading, soccer, church youth group, and milk shakes with sprinkles; they are girls and boys and black and white. They tend to be older (average age is 7.6 years), white (46%), and about evenly divided between girls and boys. They also tend to be in sibling groups of 2 or more.
How to Find Waiting Kids in America
Contact Your Local Child Welfare Agency
Your first stop should be your local child welfare agency and/or a private agency that has a contract in your state to place kids from foster care. They can tell you what kids or type of kids are currently available to be adopted in your county and can explain the process.
All states have a state photolisting of harder to place waiting children. If caseworkers are not able to find a family locally, they may place pictures and information about these kids on the state photolist. Most of these photolistings allow you to search by age, gender, and disability. If you find a child or sibling group that you think might be a good fit for your family, you must contact the child’s caseworker to get more information and start the process.
Adopt US Kids
International Waiting Children
We hear a lot of numbers thrown around about the number of waiting children (or “orphans”) in the world. The most common number you will see is 132 million, which comes from UNICEF and includes both single orphans (a child with only one living parent) and double orphans (a child with no living parent). The vast majority of these children, even the 13 million that are double orphans, are living with extended family or friends. Believe it or not, it is not clear whether the 132 million includes kids living in orphanages (estimated to be in the 7-8 million range).
How to Find International Waiting Children
International Adoption Agencies
You must work with an agency in order to adopt internationally and most international adoption agencies list their available waiting kids on their website. You will have to create a login to view the info on these children because most countries do not allow information to be shared on their children unless it is password protected. All the international adoption agencies that partner with Creating a Family have available waiting children. You can get to their websites from our Professional Directory or the list below.
- Holt International (Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Phillipines, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam)
- Hopscotch Adoptions (Armenia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Ghana, Guyana, Morocco, Serbia, Ukraine)
- Nightlight Christian Adoptions (Bulgaria, China, Haiti, HongKong, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Nicaragua, Panama, Romania, Taiwan, Uganda, Ukraine, Canada, Albania, India)
- Children’s House International (Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Haiti, Hungary, India, Mexico, Poland, Georgia, Moldova, Romania)
- MLJ Adoptions (Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Samoa, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Congo)
- Adoptions at Vista Del Mar (Phillipines, Thailand)
- New Beginnings (China, Poland, Taiwan)
- Spence-Chapin Adoption Services (Bulgaria, Colombia, South Africa)
- Sunrise Family Services (Cambodia, China, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Haiti, Bulgaria)
- Wide Horizons (Burundi, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Korea, Philippines)
Photolisting or Special Need Websites
Rainbow Kids is a large photolisting site for international waiting kids. They also have a great section giving detailed information on the more common special needs so you can make an educated decision and connect with others who have already adopted a child with this need. No Hands But Ours is another great site focused on special needs adoption of waiting children from China. They have a good description of common special needs, as well as blogs of families that have adopted a child with that need, and a list of resources.
Some special need advocacy groups also have photolistings for international (and US) waiting kids with that special need. For example, Reece’s Rainbow lists children with Downs Syndrome that are available for adoption.
Creating a Family’s Waiting Child Center
Drumroll please!! Creating a Family is so pleased to announce that we have redesigned our Waiting Child Center and are launching it this week. We have worked in partnership with Cairs Solutions, Inc, with Cairs doing the heavy design lifting. You can search by country, gender, type of special need, and age. Currently we only have international kids, but we hope to be adding US waiting kids soon. Please check it out and let us know what you think.
P.S. Cairs Solutions created our Waiting Child Center for no charge as a way to work out the kinks before they offered it to other agencies, so if you are thinking about adding this type of feature to your website, we highly recommend them.