There are over 150 million orphans* in the world, and thousands of childless parents but somehow, adoption is still not a norm. Despite an increase in the number of childless couples in India, adoption numbers have decreased**. One way to do away with social stigmas that hinder adoption, and to encourage adoption, is to run adoption awareness campaigns.
Countries like the United States and the United Kingdom have been championing adoptions for quite long but even they are seeing a decline in the number of inter-country adoptions***. To address adoption related issues specific in their country and to encourage adoption and foster care, these countries run various campaigns on adoption. Let’s take a look at some of these campaigns and the concerns they address:
National Adoption Week
Organised by the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF), this annual campaign has a history of 17 years. This year (19 - 25 October 2015), the focus of the campaign is on siblings considering siblings who are put up for adoptions don’t usually find a home, and if they do, they are mostly separated from each other. The campaign encourages prospective parents to adopt siblings so that they can continue their relationship, along with forming new familial relationships. During the week, they feature children on television and online to and provide guidelines to adoption.
Give a Child a Home
This is also a BAAF campaign run in collaboration with the Fostering Network, and is backed by the government. Their focus is on children who find it difficult to be adopted or fostered. The campaign has a website which gives information about adopting and also connects prospective parents to trained professionals.
#AdoptChange is an initiative in Australia that works with the belief that every child has a right to a family. They work with the community and government to change attitude and laws related to adoption, and support families through all stages of adoption. Their goal is to increase child adoptions, and also to reduce the time taken in the process of adoption.
Adopt US Kids
AdoptUsKids is an adoption campaign based out of the United States and has been running since 2004. Since 2004, they have placed over 20,000 children in the US with a permanent home. Their constant approach is to encourage prospective parents by conveying the message - You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent. Their idea is to do away with doubts people have about being a parent. Their latest public service announcements also focus on adopting siblings as sibling relationships are "the longest lasting-relationships for children in foster care".
The Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN), Pennsylvania initiated this unique campaign as a platform where prospective parents and foster carers could “get a peek into the hearts” of children and youth waiting to be adopted. They selected 12 children from across Pennsylvania waiting to be adopted and made them record videos of each other, talking about what having a family would mean to them. SWAN also features youth waiting to be adopted and various activities conducted for them, on their Facebook page.
28 Days of Amazing Children
The Department of Children and Families and the Governor’s Office of Adoption and Child Protection, Broward County, launched this campaign to encourage adoption of African-American children, in February 2015. They made videos and biographies of children and also made a Public Service Announcement highlighting adoption of siblings.
Do you think campaigns tailor-made for an Indian audience can also encourage adoption, as these campaigns are doing in other countries? What kind of message do you think Indian campaigns and Public Service Announcements on adoption should highlight? Share your views in the comments section below.
*The Huffington Post
Florida Department of Children and Families
Pennsylvania Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network
Adopt US Kids
National Adoption Week
Childalert - first for child safety
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