Adoption has been gaining attention as a national priority in the United States. More than 160,000 adoptions take place each year, but there are still 135,000 children waiting for adoption in the U.S. foster care system, as well as infants born to birth mothers not ready to parent. In light of Christ’s command to care for orphans, the number of children without loving homes is more than just another social issue; adoption is a central Christian concern.
Defined as the permanent, legal transfer of parental rights over a child from biological parents to adoptive parents, adoption is an important social practice that promotes the well-being of children, families and society. Though there are several different categories of adoption, every adoption scenario gives adoptive parents the same rights, responsibilities and joys as biological parents, and gives adopted children the same legal, social and emotional benefits of birth children.
Adoption positively affects all those involved with the process.
It gives birth mothers the assurance that their children will be raised in stable families, gives adoptive parents the joy of parenting, and gives children the opportunity to join a permanent family and grow up in a loving home. Adoption also promotes the social and economic well-being of our nation because an adopted child is less likely (than the child of a single mother) to grow up in poverty, more likely to obtain an education, and more likely to have an involved father.
Adoption is also connected to important social issues, such as the sanctity of human life and the definition of family. Adoption upholds the sanctity of human life by providing a positive alternative to abortion for birth mothers who feel unable to parent.
Adoption contributes positively to family formation by creating the opportunity for children waiting in foster care to have a loving mother and father—replacing what the child has lost.
And yet, the adoption process has been recently burdened by initiatives that ignore its purpose and promote unrelated goals. It is no wonder then that the fundamental purposes of adoption have come under attack and that adoption has become a topic of political controversy.
Christians should recognize the importance of adoption and current political threats to the practice. Whether your family is led to adopt, or not, you can still be committed to not only promoting adoption among churches and families, but also to advocating adoption policies that promote and defend the well-being of children, parents and families.
–Focus on the Family