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3 Factors Contributing to the Orphan Care Issue

The work of Show Hope exists to care for orphans by engaging the Church and reducing barriers to adoption. There are an estimated 15 million children in the world who have lost both parents. Many children who have been orphaned encounter significant early challenges and trauma related to malnutrition, abuse, neglect, and/or unaddressed medical needs. Show Hope’s work is centered on addressing the most fundamental need of these children—the love and security of a family.

And this need isn’t just far away—it also exists in your very own community. Today, there are more than 400,000 children being cared for in the U.S. foster care system. More than 125,000 of those children are in need of the permanency of a family through adoption.

The implications of these needs are far-reaching. They cross international borders, racial divides, and economic classes. The scope of the issue can be staggering, leading many to wonder how and why the need is so vast.

Though this list is not exhaustive, here are three significant factors that can contribute to children becoming orphaned: 

  1. Global Pandemics: It is estimated that millions of children have lost one or both parents due to global epidemics like HIV/AIDS and COVID-19, leaving this as one of the largest contributing factors in the number of children who have been orphaned.
  2.  Poverty: Nearly half the world’s population struggles to provide for their children’s basic needs, like nutrition and shelter. Poverty can also create a fragility in social structures, often leading to the breakdown of family units—not due to a lack of love and commitment but rather a sheer lack of resources to meet the most basic human needs.
  3. Civil Unrest: Wars and violence lead to civil unrest, causing many children to lose one or both parents. Not only are parents lost, but child welfare systems are often compromised, leading to unregulated adoptions, abduction, or trafficking of children.

Although the reasons leading to children becoming orphaned are broad and complex, there is hope and help. Because we believe God calls each of us to care for orphans through the gifts he has entrusted to us, he will go before us in the effort.


Learn more about the needs of orphans and Show Hope’s work:

The Need | Show Hope’s Use of Statistics About Children Who Have Been Orphaned

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