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Children belong in families,
not orphanages
JK Rowling's Charity Lumos in the USA

Lumos in the USA

Lumos Foundation USA was launched in 2015 to ensure that children around the world are raised in families, not orphanages, by 2050.

Lumos USA works with policy-makers, philanthropists, faith leaders, likeminded non-profit organizations, and concerned individuals to promote affordable, realistic, family-based alternatives to child institutionalization. We work creatively with our partners to address the root causes of child institutionalization – such as poverty and trafficking – to realize a world in which every child is raised in a loving family.

Foreign Policy: Money and Trafficking 

Lumos USA works with the  US government on foreign policy as it relates to child institutionalization and all related factors: poverty reduction, education, and health care are just a few. We encourage the US government to be a bold and powerful advocate for family-based care for children worldwide. The US government itself did away with the orphanage model of child care some sixty years ago.

We work with anti-trafficking agencies and organizations to highlight the links between orphanages and modern slavery, and to ensure that anti-trafficking assessments and policies include  orphanage trafficking.

Lumos USA also works behind the scenes with multilateral institutions, such as the United Nations and international financial institutions, to encourage smart development in countries that perpetuate the orphanage system. 

Demonstration Projects: Addressing Poverty to Change the System

Lumos USA raises money to support projects overseas, where we are developing proof of concept – that a country’s system of child care CAN transition from one based on an institutional model (orphanages) to one based on family care.

Lumos’ demonstration projects address the root causes of institutionalization. A key driver into institutions is poverty, and we thus work with governments and families to ensure that a lack of money is not a reason for a parent to feel forced to give up a child. Lumos invests in vocational training for families and works with governments on providing free and inclusive education and health care to ensure that families have the support they need to raise their children.


Philanthropists are an extremely powerful force for global social change. Private donors in the United States alone gave away $410 billion in 2017.

Lumos traced $100 million in private, mostly low-dollar, donations going to Haitian orphanages, of which 90% came from the United States. Lumos USA works in partnership with philanthropists to share better alternatives to child institutionalization and to encourage investments in family-based care. 

Child Institutionalization in the United States

Families at the US border

In 2018, news broke of the forced separation of more than 2,600 migrant children from their parents at the US/Mexico border. The subsequent placement of many of these children in detention centers compounded the trauma experienced in their home countries, on the way to the border and during separation.

Lumos USA works with partner organizations in the US and Guatemala to provide social and medical support to children and their families, deliver trauma services, and safely reunify children with their families.

Key Lumos USA accomplishments

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