Not only are children left without homes but many family pets are rescued in the wake of disasters and, in some cases, the pets are the only members of the family that are able to be rescued. Temporary pet shelters are set up and information is circulated throughout the survivors that some pets have been saved and that they should come claim their animals. In some cases family pets are not reunited with their families in the wake of disasters but it is often in times of terrible tragedy that the generosity of others is displayed. It is not at all uncommon for most of the rescued family pets to be adopted by new homes if their families were either lost in the disaster or the family never came forward to claim their pets.
When it comes to children the process is much longer and more complicated. Following the horrible tsunamis of December 26, 2004 there were many stories of children that had been separated from their families only to be joyfully reunited in an emotional moment that was sometimes broadcast all over the world on news networks. People all over the world will take a great deal of interest in stories of children separated from their families in the wake of disasters and it is always one of the “feel good stories” of the year when the parents are reunited with their children. Equally as emotional are the stories of parents that never find their children or children that are never reunited with their parents. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina there were many children that had not been reunited with their families and the process of waiting to see if the parents do come for their child can take a very long time.
As much as people show their generosity in the wake of disasters by offering to adopt children seemingly orphaned there are some factors that can either slow up, or prevent, the adoption process. The first of these situations is that the social organizations that are charged with caring for children separated from their parents in the wake of disasters are not in a hurry to rush the children off to adoption while there still remains a possibility that the parents may be alive. There is a process in place that each social organization must follow in the wake of disasters prior to being able to put any children up for adoption. Not only is their a process in place but the children that have lost parents will need counseling before they can be expected to become part of another family. It is a long and difficult process.
In many cases the children that are left orphaned in the wake of disasters are claimed by members of their family. In most cases it is preferred that these children be sent to live with members of their own family. In this instance the social organization still has to be certain that there isn’t anything that would put the children in harm’s way if they are sent to live with family, but family that the children already know and are loved by are much preferred to adoption by total strangers regardless of how genuine the intent is by the adopting family.