Thursday, February 18, 2010

Call to Action: Families for Orphans Act

On January 12 in the course of only 30 seconds, thousands of children joined the hundreds of thousands Haitian children already living without a permanent and safe family. These children became part of a global crisis – an estimated 30 million children growing up without parents - vulnerable to slavery, prostitution, gangs, exploitation, and trafficking. Yet our government has no focus on finding families for orphaned children worldwide. We should have acted yesterday…we must act now.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee have before them The Families for Orphans Act; a bi-partisan bill that would create a State Department office and more importantly a “Champion for Orphans”. This Champion and the Office would build capacity in countries to enable families to raise their children at home or be adopted by loving parents first in their own country or else in another. Growing up in a family is a basic human right. The United States has a rich and successful history of protecting such rights all over the world. When we have stepped forward to provide leadership in an area of great social need, the difference has been measurable. The orphans of the world need this type of leadership and they need it now.

Four Things You Can Do:

1. Let Your Voice Be Heard: Call or e-mail to your Members of Congress asking them to become Co-Sponsors of the Families for Orphans Act. You can find your Representative at and your Senators at Feel free to use the following text as a guideline:“As one of your constituents I am requesting that you support the “Families for Orphans Act” by becoming a Co-Sponsor of the legislation now. We would be better prepared to respond to the needs of orphans in Haiti if the leadership it calls for was already in place. We ask that you stand up for the millions of children around the world growing up in orphanages without the love and support of a permanent family. For information on becoming a Co-Sponsor, please contact Senators Landrieu or Inhofe or Representatives Watson or Boozman.”

2. Demand Action: Call or email the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Ask them to pass the Families for Orphans Act. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Phone: (202) 224-4651 Chairperson’s Email: click here House Foreign Affairs Committee Phone: (202) 224-4651 Chairperson’s Email: click here

3. Speak with One Voice: Sign the Families for Orphans Act petition. To sign click here.

4. Get The Word Out: Have a blog? A Facebook page? Do you Tweet? How about an email account? Send this Call To Action to those who care about children.

On behalf of children living without a permanent and safe family

Rebecca Harris
Government Relations and Communications Manager

The Families For Orphans Coalition
Buckner International
EACH International
Joint Council on International Children's Services
Institute for Orphan Advocacy
Institute for Human Services
Kidsave International
National Council for Adoption
Worldwide Orphan Foundation

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