A Michigan based Christian adoption agency states it will end an international adoption program that has brought thousands of foreign-born children to the United States.
What We Know:
- Bethany Christian Services, one of the country’s largest adoption agencies, has helped seek shelter for nearly 15,000 children with American families since 1982. The nonprofit announced last month that it has decided not to renew its international adoption accreditation next year.
- Kristi Gleason, the organization’s vice president of global programs, said Bethany is to now focus towards finding adoptive homes for children in their home countries, according to a blog post on January 21st. The charity has already launched efforts to encourage foster care and adoption in China, Ethiopia, and South Africa just to name a few countries.
- Bethany’s announcement clearly marks the end of an era. Since 1982, the state of Michigan took over the program and started with helping South Korean children. Over time, it expanded to include children in other parts of Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa, and Central America.
- The overall decision to end the international program was due to a great decline of Americans adopting children from abroad and other foreign government restrictions. Statistics from the State Department demonstrate how only 4,058 international adoptions were recorded in 2018, compared to nearly 23,000 in 2004.
Bethany handled roughly 8% of the state’s over 13,000 foster care and adoption cases due to troubled households. The organization previously refused to let LGBTQ couples adopt, but in the past year, the policy has since then been overturned after a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union.