Bethany Christian Services is making some major changes.
The world’s largest Christian adoption agency has posted a blog explaining that they will soon end international adoptions. As Christianity Today notes, Bethany assisted in 15,000 adoptions over the course of the last four decades. In a statement Bethany Christian Services wrote, the change is part of “efforts to change the emphasis from bringing children to the U.S. to instead finding adoptive homes for children in their home countries.”
They explain that around the world, orphan-care is evolving.
“Bethany began serving children in South Korea because orphanages were overwhelmed with vast numbers of healthy infants,” they wrote. “Today, many children who can’t be cared for by their own families are being adopted into loving homes in their country of birth. This is a good thing, and we praise God for it. Our decision to phase out international adoption is not a criticism of the program, but a reflection of our desire to serve children in their own communities.”
According to the organization, the shift in focus has helped them serve more children.
“The future of adoption is working with local governments, churches, and social services professionals around the world to recruit and support local families for children and to develop and improve effective, safe in-country child welfare systems,” they wrote. “Through these efforts, we served more children around the world in 2019 than we previously served in a single year.”
The organization’s official international adoption accreditation expires in 2021, at which point, they will not renew it.