THE GIFT OF FAMILY: HOW ONE NONPROFIT HELPS ENSURE CHILDREN HAVE A PERMANENT HOME

When we enter a new year, we feel energized; there is something about the final countdown as the ball drops that creates a special feeling of anything being possible in the upcoming year. Aspirations for the new year vary—and for many children waiting for adoption, those hopes for the year include finding a permanent home. Luckily there is an organization called the Gift of Adoption Fund that helps families make that dream a reality for children everywhere. 

The Gift of Adoption Fund is a nonprofit organization with a mission to provide adoption assistance grants to complete the adoptions of children in vulnerable circumstances—giving them permanent families and a chance to thrive. To illustrate the significance of this mission, below are a few key statistics:  

  • 400,000 children in the U.S. foster care system await adoption; 20% of those children have been waiting to be adopted for over 5 years. 
  • Every day, 5,700 children become orphans and 700 children enter the US foster care system. 
  • Each year 23,000 young adults in foster care are forced to leave the system because they turn 18, never realizing their dream for a permanent, loving family. 
  • Because of the high cost of adoption, just 2-4% of Americans who consider adoption complete the process. 

In alignment with the MJ Foundation’s commitment to embrace humanity, we are honored to feature the Gift of Adoption Fund as our first Charity of the Month for 2023. 

While 30% of the U.S. population has considered adoption, many never follow through or act on it due to the high associated costs. On average, a Gift of Adoption grant applicant is looking at over $25,000 in upfront expenses to cover legal fees, home-study costs, agency and travel costs plus so much more. Gift of Adoption provides grants to offset some of these costs to ensure the best outcome for the children.  

Gift of Adoption places special emphasis on keeping siblings together and ensuring children with critical conditions are placed in families and able to receive proper care. Last year, about 17% of Gift of Adoption grants helped keep biological siblings together in one caring and loving home. In 2021, 33% of Gift of Adoption grants went to children with critical medical conditions, giving them a chance to be adopted and receive the care they need, while 39% of grants helped prevent a child from entering or aging out of foster care. 

As noted above, there are over 400,000 children in the U.S. foster care system. On average, those children in the system who are eligible for adoption will wait more than 3 years before finding a forever family. Sadly, the longer a child remains in foster care, the likelihood of becoming adopted decreases. Un-adopted children are more likely to experience poor life outcomes. They are significantly more likely to drop out of school, suffer from mental illness, commit crimes, experience homelessness and die by suicide. Gift of Adoption is working to change this trend and find children permanent, loving homes.   

We at MJ would also be remiss to not mention that Gift of Adoption does not consider an applicant’s marital status, gender, race, creed, national origin, religion, age, or sexual orientation when reviewing applications for grants. We admire their commitment to fostering diversity and basing its grant selections simply off need and merit.

See the impact for yourself by watching Mati’s story.   

YOU CAN HELP! 

Gift of Adoption grants are only possible with the support of community. You can direct your donation to your local Gift of Adoption chapter. 

Visit the Gift of Adoption Fund website to learn more about how you can support their work.