Tuesday, November 11, 2014

God and Adoption: Where This Christian, Adoptive Mama Stands

I am a Christian.  A Christian who has grown to become quite critical of adoption and the adoption industry, particularly when involving fellow Christians.  (You can read more about adoption ethics here, which is my second most popular blog post of all time).

So, here goes:

First, I do not believe I was “called” to adopt. 

Christian terminology usually makes me very uncomfortable.  Because I feel like a lot of talk about “the Lord” is really about the people uttering those words in a twisted way to self-bless their choices. The whole “called to adopt” phrase makes me cringe. 

I absolutely believe God tells Christians to do (or not do) things.  I do believe that God can bless any situation, including biological parents who choose to parent their children rather than place them for adoption.   

I knew we would adopt.  It was March 2006 while I was in the hospital, just a few days after an ER doctor told me I had this horrible forever disease called type 1 diabetes.  I wrote in my first book about the moment when my first CDNE (Certified Diabetes Nurse Educator) asked Steve and I if we planned on having kids and how we still could, despite of/with, type 1 diabetes.  As she proceeded to share what type 1 diabetes and pregnancy might look like, one word popped into my mind:


Was it God who put adoption in my mind? Was it my own desire becoming evidently and suddenly clear during one of the hardest moments of my life?  I can’t say yes or no to either with certainty. 

But I do believe the choice to adopt was entirely up to me and my husband.  And we did it for one reason: we wanted to become parents. 

Second, I do believe that Christians need to be financially responsible. God calls Christians to be good stewards of their finances.   This means that when it comes to adoption, some hard financial choices need to be made.

I also believe God wants Christians, who choose to adopt, to be discerning in the adoption professionals they utilize. 

I do not believe in selecting agencies that prey on expecting parents and prospective adoptive parents with sneaky fees, astronomically high fees, or sliding scale fees based on a child’s race or the income of the adoptive parents. 

Adoptions cost the agency the same money, on average, regardless of the race of the child, the income of the adoptive parents, or the needs to the expectant parents.  Agencies that charge high fees are predatory and are in adoption for the money, not the adoptees, adoptive parents, or expectant or birth parents.

Bottom line: An adoptive parent’s selection of an adoption professional can change the trajectory of many lives. The decision to work with a particular professional should be taken seriously. Unreasonable adoption fees are a red flag.

Third, I do not and will not every ask God to help an adoptive parent get a placement faster or get a particular placement.  By praying these things, is to pray for biological parents to lose their children, for children to lose their biological parents, and for loss, grief, confusion, and harm to be created.  

I love an article I once found over at Adoption Voices (one despite an hour of searching, I was unable to locate), where the author sets up this analogy.  How is it ok to pray for a biological parent and child to be separated for the “gain” of an adoptive family?  That’s like praying that a wife and husband get divorced so that someone can then swoop in and marry the man or woman.  It’s disturbing. 

Fourth, I do not believe in promoting a hierarchy when it comes to triad members.

All are equally valued by God.  All are worthy of redemption, redemption that yields freedom, forgiveness, joy, and abundance. 

But many believe that adoptive parents are saviors to be glorified, birth parents are a myriad of living stereotypes which warrant disrespect and dehumanization, and adoptees are things to be given and received.

I once heard a pastor say, “Every person you meet is a person for whom Christ died.” 

Repeat:  every person.

Every person was created by God, loved by God, and wanted by God.

Though the adoption industry, in general, thrives on supply (children) and demand (adoptive families), capitalizes on the desperation of both adoptive families (their desire to have a child) and the expectant parents (perhaps a crisis pregnancy situation), and gains money in exchange for a placement, Christians are called to higher thinking and better actions; we are called to ethical behaviors and Christ-like love for all people.

If Christians are to be the “hands and feet” of Jesus and the “salt and light,” we have to view all triad members, all people, as God does.


  1. I cannot tell you how much I LOVE this blog post and finding your blog. I am too a Type 1 diabetic and are pursuing adoption, however our journey is taking some unexpected turns. My blog is BLESSINGS!

  2. Hi Rachel, completely agree with your point about not praying for a child to lose it's birth parents for the sake of the adopting parents, but out of interest what do you ethically think about praying for a child that has already lost it's birth parents? Perhaps a child that has already been taken into long term foster care and is awaiting a match? This seems to be more of the case here in the UK, it is very rare for adopters to get babies as very few are given up at birth and most children adopted are over 3 years and already in the foster care system awaiting adopters to come forward.


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