We hear over and over again when families inquire about international adoption, that they want to adopt where there is the greatest need. Yes this is admirable, but there is need worldwide for adoptive families to provide homes to children in need living in institutionalized care. Particularly, there is a great need to adopt older children ages five and up.
Typically I write about children in need in Africa or in countries in Asia, however, I am compelled to also shine a light on children in need in Mexico. My heart breaks for the children in this country who are continually passed over because adoptive parents feel they are too old and the need is not as great.
Mexico’s poverty rate has increased from 52.9 million reported in 2010 to 53.3 million in 2013 (Wilson Center). Many children are orphaned in Mexico due to poverty, discrimination against indigenous tribes or unplanned pregnancies. The poverty in Mexico is compounded by the unavailability of clean water and ability to provide food to these children, particularly for indigenous tribes who are forced away from clean water sources and pushed to living on the outskirts of society. Nearly half the population lives in poverty with many living in shacks on the outskirts of the cities with little to no access to clean water and basic necessities. The rising violence due to the drug cartels also leaves many children without families and living in orphanages. Life as an orphan is difficult, regardless of what country the child resides in.
There is a need in Mexico for adoptive families. Children who meet the definition of an orphan in Mexico and that can be adopted are ages five and older. Would you tell one of these children that the need in Mexico is not as great as somewhere else in the world, turning away from them? Or turning away because you feel the child is too old?
Looking into the eyes of a hungry, scared child living in an institution puts aside the thought that one should adopt only where it is perceived to be the greatest need. Clearly these children would consider themselves in great need. If not adopted they have a dismal future with little education or training and will age out of the orphanage to realize a life of crime, prostitution or sex trafficking.
Every child deserves to grow up in a loving family, even those children ages five and up, even children in Mexico. If you are looking to adopt where there is great need, please consider Mexico. Mexico is party to the Hague Convention and provides a transparent adoption process. Mexico borders the U.S. and makes required travel less expensive and easier than traveling to other countries. Many families who have adopted previously from Guatemala may find Mexico to be an excellent option to adding to their families due to the fact that the children are of Hispanic origin. Married couples and single women can adopt from Mexico. Mexico has opened their doors and needs families to help by adopting one of their orphaned children.
Lets stop turning away from the older children in need of adoption or dismissing one country over another because it is perceived to have less of a need. Each and every child living as an orphan is in great need.
For more information about our Mexico program, please contact us.
Photo Credit: Kashfi Halford