According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an estimated 437,000 children were in foster care up to this year, with around 100,000 of those being classified as “abandoned” or “a child waiting to be adopted” according to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS).
Child abandonment is a heartbreaking reality for many families. Unfortunately, it is still an ongoing problem in the United States, as well as in other countries around the world. Factors like poverty or abuse can lead to a parent being unable to care for their child, leaving them with no choice but to abandon them.
Reasons Behind Child Abandonment
There are many reasons why a child would be abandoned in a country like the U.S. Here are some of the most common reasons why:
One of the primary reasons why a child may be abandoned is due to medical issues that are present at birth or that arise during early childhood. Parents may feel overwhelmed by the financial burden associated with necessary medical treatments, or they may not have access to adequate healthcare facilities to meet their child’s needs.
Additionally, parents may feel unequipped to handle the physical and emotional demands of a sick or disabled child, leading them to decide to abandon their son or daughter in favor of potential adoption opportunities.
The cost associated with raising a child can be staggering, especially if multiple children in a family require basic necessities such as food and shelter. Unfortunately, this financial burden can become too much for some parents who are already struggling financially and have inadequate resources. For these individuals, relinquishing custody can seem like their only option if they cannot afford to feed and care for all of their children adequately.
In recent years there has been an increase in cross-border migration from Latin American countries into the United States due primarily to ongoing economic hardship in those countries and violence from criminal organizations within them.
Unfortunately, some migrants have children while living illegally in America and are unable or unwilling to support them once they arrive here due to limited financial resources or fear of being deported back home if discovered by U.S. immigration officials. Parents may then opt for abandoning these children instead of risking potentially severe penalties for remaining illegally within our borders with dependent offspring.
Poor Parenting Skills
Parenting is one of the most challenging jobs any individual can undertake; it requires patience, understanding, empathy, and sacrifice – just to name a few qualities needed for success – and sadly, some parents lack sufficient knowledge or experience to enable them to raise their children successfully.
These individuals might find themselves ill-prepared when faced with situations such as disciplining young ones exhibiting inappropriate behavior or managing teenagers grappling with emotions such as anger or depression, thus leading them towards abandonment instead of seeking professional help from experts trained on how best to address such issues appropriately.
How People Can Help
Fortunately, there are various ways you can help deal with this problem. Here are some of them.
One of the best ways to deal with child abandonment is through foster parenting. This involves providing a safe, loving home for children needing temporary or long-term care.
Foster parents are responsible for guiding and nurturing these kids as they navigate life’s ups and downs until they can be reunited with their biological family or placed in a permanent adoptive home. Additionally, there are reliable foster parent support services that can help you. These services often assist with paperwork, training, and other resources to make becoming a foster parent easier.
You can also help by donating to charity organizations that are working on the issue of child abandonment. Numerous charities around the country are dedicated to helping these children, so they have access to basic needs like food, clothing, medical care, and education. Your contribution can go a long way in making a difference for these kids.
You can also volunteer with organizations that are helping abandoned children. These organizations provide counseling and other services to help the child cope with their situation and offer advocacy, so they don’t slip through the cracks in the system.
Volunteering could potentially impact by providing safety and stability to an abandoned child.
Child abandonment is a heartbreaking reality that many families face. Sometimes it isn’t entirely the parent’s fault. However, by following the tips above, you can help make a difference in the lives of these children and their families.