Who are the fatherless in the world today?

The Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit 2015 starts on April 30, 2015. Amanda Bennett and I will be attending CAFO2015 along with a handful of other advocates who are passionate about starting a conversation with the leaders of the adoption and orphan care movement. Over the next ten days, we are launching ‪#‎AskBetterQuestions‬. We want to engage the families, churches, leaders and influencers who are passionate about adoption and orphan care to stop and ask better questions. Every day leading up to CAFO2015, we’ll be posting a question here and on social media and we would love for you to join in the conversation!

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When we were first beginning to think about adoption, we learned there were millions of children who needed families. We understood that sometimes tragedies come and children are left alone. We would watch videos of children in orphanages or see news articles about children left on the side of the road.

Whenever there is a crisis, be it the earthquake in Haiti or the recent Ebola outbreak, we read about the vast number of children left alone. But even where there’s no obvious disaster, there are vulnerable children.

In response, orphanages and homes for the millions of street children are built. As soon as they are built, they are filled with children.

We believed that a child who lives in an institution must be an orphan with no one to care for him.

Our research and experiences tell us that the simple answer might be wrong. If at least four out of five children growing up in a orphanages have a mother or a father, then there must be another reason.

So why are there so many children living without their families?

How does a child end up institutionalized or on the street? Who makes the decision to institutionalize a child? Are children placed in orphanages because they have no one to care for them?

We believe that there are ways to provide for children and keep them in their families.

What are the root causes of the widow and orphan crisis? Can we address the root causes of the widow and orphan crisis and still protect children? Who is doing this challenging work? Is this consistent with God’s compassion for the vulnerable?

Ready to #AskBetterQuestions?

We would love for you to join in the conversation by leaving a comment or by tagging your posts with #AskBetterQuestions on Instagram or Twitter.

In Defense of the Fatherless is the conversation I would love to have with a friend who is learning about the orphan crisis, considering adoption, or starting an orphan care ministry. It is the conversation I wish someone would have had with me five years ago.

In Defense of the Fatherless is designed to take you on a journey through the Bible to understand God’s heart for orphans and widows – and how you are called to respond. Learn more about In Defense of the Fatherless or read what experts have to say. If you are ready for a deeper conversation, In Defense of the Fatherless is now available on Amazon or at a bookstore near you.

Amanda Bennett

amanda@defenseofthefatherless.com

AMANDA BENNETT is a lawyer wife, mother, and advocate for vulnerable families and children. She serves on the board of directors for Reeds of Hope, a non-profit serving vulnerable families and children in DRC. Amanda lives in Kigali, Rwanda with her husband, Bill, and son.

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