How Ebola is Affecting Orphanages and Adoptions

The more the virus kills, the more orphans it creates.

Denalee Chapman October 25, 2014
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Ebola. The dreaded virus washing through already war-torn West Africa has taken the lives of thousands, leaving too many orphans in its wake. Ebola has an incubation period of 21 days, and many governments are not equipped to stay on top of this rapidly spreading disease. This leaves newly orphaned children to fend for themselves as they are shunned and rejected by relatives and neighbors who are doing all they can to keep their own families protected.

Established orphanages are being hit as well. What does this mean for the adoption community? With continued exposure to the virus because of a lack of quarantine locations, adoptions are placed on hold for an undetermined amount of time. The World Health Organization and America’s Center for Disease Control, as well as other government agencies, are taking careful precautions to prevent further spread of the Ebola virus. And while hopeful adoptive families understand the need to protect the masses, the urgency to get their children home increases.

Jason and Jessica Neal have been attempting to adopt Emmanuel from Liberia since July 2014. With so many variables out of their control, they have intensified their prayers and taken action that may indirectly help their situation. The Neals have raised over $30,000 to help set up sanitizing stations throughout the country in order to help halt the spread of Ebola and other diseases. They are also working toward getting Emmanuel into his 21-day quarantine so he can then be moved to Ghana, where they couple will meet up with their son. Jason and Jessica are prepared to wait out their own 21-day quarantine, if required. “When we get him here alive, it’s going to be the biggest sigh of relief.”

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Denalee Chapman

Denalee is an adoptive mother, a motivational speaker, a writer, and a lover of life. She and her husband have adventured through the hills and valleys of life to find that the highest highs and the lowest lows are equally fulfilling. Book Denalee to speak to your group, or find Denalee's writings, including her books on her website at

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