International adoption from China and Taiwan continues to be well-supported by the governments of these countries. Sadly, that is the rare exception rather than the rule in international adoption overall, which has declined by 75% since 2004.
However, several organizations, including Gladney, are working hard to reverse this downward trend and spark an increase in international adoption. In the last six weeks, I have had the opportunity to participate in the Both Ends Burning Symposium in Los Angeles and the Christian Alliance for Orphans conference in Orlando, which were two very different gatherings. The BEB Symposium was maxed out at 80 by design, while about 2,000 people attended CAFO.
Gladney was the only adoption agency represented at the BEB Symposium. Child welfare leaders from 26 countries, plus the Department of State and UNICEF, were in attendance. International adoption was highlighted as one wonderful option for orphans, and these child welfare leaders seemed to embrace that perspective. Consistent with priorities outlined in the Hague Convention, domestic adoption, as well as family preservation and reunification programs, were spotlighted as part of the solution to the world's increasing orphan population at the BEB Symposium, just as they were at CAFO.
Both of these gatherings were tremendously encouraging for me, as they represented people from all over the world with diverse viewpoints, but who all share the vision that EVERY CHILD DESERVES A LOVING FAMILY.
This is Gladney's "why." This is the vision that underscores everything that Both Ends Burning, the National Council for Adoption, and the Congressional Coalition on Adoption are working to accomplish. My hope and dream is that with the help of everyone, including YOU, that "Every Child Deserves a Loving Family" will become embedded in the public consciousness.
--Frank Garrott, Adoptive Dad and Gladney President