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By Douglas Riggle

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Fewer adoptive parents (and you have a homework assignment in this blog)

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Every story regarding adoption and foster care seem to be sensationalized in the news. That’s what sells. “Tune in at 11 to learn why your adopted child may one day murder you in your sleep.”

Ok… I’m exaggerating. But not by much.

Yet the rate of adoption here in the United States has been on a decline. We hit a peak around 2004 with almost 23,000 adoptions taking place in the United States but that annual rate has been on the decline ever since. In 2009, the number of adoptions in the US have fallen to about 12,700. That’s a staggering decline.

News stories about a woman who returned her child to Russia blanketed the news for a while and everyone judged her actions as harsh and unloving — but then fear creeps in.

What if I try to adopt and the child I get turns out to be hell on wheels?

Trust me, they don’t have to be adopted to be “hell on wheels.” While I don’t think we should outright ignore the stories in the media … think of them as a cautionary tale.

So what should be our response to the declining numbers of children being adopted? One word:

ADOPT!

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