How Many Orphans are in Uganda?

March 8, 2012


According to UNICEF, Uganda has 2.5 million orphans. Of that number, 1.2 million are orphaned by AIDS.

What do these numbers mean? Unfortunately, there are many Ugandan children suffering as a result of being orphaned. They lack some of the most basic needs in life, especially the experience of a parent’s love.

How many of these children are adoptable, though? Have you thought about the fact that this wholesome figure includes:

  • All children regardless of whether they are adoptable or not?
  • Children living in ‘children villages’ that are already cared for and are probably too old to be adopted or cannot be adopted because they have surviving single parents that love them and are happy for them to stay in the school/orphanage/village and visit them?
  • Children living with extended families that love them and are doing well.

How many children in Uganda have parents that are either unknown or do not want them? How many children are true orphans in genuine need of adoption?

Let’s look at another statistic. There are approximately 600 prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) with approved i-600As from the United States. This number has nearly tripled in just one year. (In 2009, there were 69 adoptions to the USA. In 2010, there were 102. In 2011, the number was 215.)

If each of these 600 families took one or two GENUINE orphans, would there still be orphans in need of adoption in Uganda? The answer is one that can be debated, but the truth is that there are certainly far, far fewer genuine orphans in need of adoption in Uganda than the general public and PAPs probably think. Especially when such big numbers like “2.5 million orphans” are tossed around and it is assumed that most of these kids are adoptable orphans.

In Uganda, like many African countries, familial and tribal ties are usually quite strong. Communities, families and friends are motivated to look after children in their surroundings who are in need of care and protection. This is much more true than in other cultures around the world, including the West, where individualism is prized and a sense of community and tribalism is not as strong.

These are a few of the statistics that motivate us to speak out against orphan creation/creators and fight for the adoption of those in genuine need of it. There are genuine orphans in need of adoption, and there are genuine orphans who are settled and successfully cared for by extended family…and do not need to be adopted internationally.

We’d love to answer your questions or hear your feedback about this issue! Email:

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply