God designed children to be raised in families. Many times, due to various circumstances, children are not able to be raised in their birth families, so they are in need of new, permanent families through adoption.
Though many people typically view adoption as a couple bringing a single, healthy, newborn baby into their families, adoption takes on many other forms as well. There are often sibling sets that need adoptive families. Many older kids need adoptive families. Many kids with special needs are in need of adoptive families as well. It is important as followers of Jesus that we remain open to what He is calling us to do and who He might be calling us to adopt.
There are three different types of adoption:
- Adoption from foster care
Open vs. Closed Adoption
In an open adoption, birth families remain involved in the child’s life through visits, phone calls, etc. In a closed adoption, there is little to no contact between the child’s adoptive family and his or her birth family.
AFL believes there is no more uniquely Christian calling than that of adoption. Other faiths or moral teachings may share some aspects of the ethical life described in the Scriptures; they may agree that a moral person should be generous to the poor, enact impartial justice, not oppress the weak. But to care for the orphan and fatherless, specifically through adoption, is irrevocably entwined with our understanding of what it means to be a Christian.
Traditional adoptions involve working with an agency, lawyer, or humanitarian effort to legally adopt a child. Adoptive parents face their own challenges. The adoption process can often be long and frustrating. An adoption possibility can fall through, administrative delays are not uncommon, and the knowledge that women are choosing abortion, when they dearly want a child themselves, can be painful. But adoptive parents also know the joy of opening their hearts to a child in need of a home and creating a loving family.
Special Needs Adoptions
Not all adoptions involve newborn babies. Many children in need of adoption have special needs, such as physical or mental disabilities, have been physically, sexually or emotionally abused, are groups of siblings who want to stay together, are older teens, or have been exposed to drugs or HIV. Adopting special needs children requires emotional and spiritual resolve, but these children are especially in need of a loving home.
In snowflake adoption, an adopting family is able to use the frozen embryos from another couple’s in vitro fertilization process to achieve a pregnancy and give birth to an adopted child. Nightlight Christian Adoptions pioneered embryo adoption in 1997. Since then, 460 babies have been born and 1,100 families have donated embryos.
Support Anglican Families Interested in Pursuing Adoption
Your prayers for families navigating the adoption process are critical to all of God’s children finding homes. If you feel called to do more, consider giving to the Anglican Adoption Fund. This fund provides grants to families who wish to adopt a child but could benefit from financial assistance.
How does adoption benefit birth mothers?
Sadly, many women considering adoption or abortion will often chose the latter, as adoption, to them, seems as though they are abandoning their babies. In fact, not only does adoption allow their children to live and bring joy to the families who adopt them, but it has shown to be a benefit for the birth mother. Women who have chosen adoption for an unplanned pregnancy are more likely to finish school and delay marriage. They are less likely to live in poverty, receive public assistance, and have another unplanned pregnancy.
Why should adoption be important to the Church?
According to the book of James “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows.” (James 1:27 NIV). It is part of our duty as Christians to protect the fatherless and orphaned, and adoption is one of the best ways we can care for and love these children. Additionally, as children of God, we come into God’s family through adoption. Therefore, as we have been adopted into Christ, we must affirm and celebrate adopted children, adoptive parents, and birth parents.
How can I learn more?
To learn more, check out the additional resource links at the bottom of this page or reach out to AFL’s Adoption and Foster Care Consultant Johnston Moore.
What if I can't afford to adopt?
Some adoptions can be costly. If God is calling your family to adopt, do not let cost be a barrier. Anglicans For Life has an adoption grant fund to help Anglican families offset some of those costs. There are other organizations that might be able to help as well.
The Prayer for Adoption
Lord God, we thank you that all life is made in Your image and as we acknowledge the needs of orphans this day, we pray You would reveal Jesus as Lord and Savior to them and those who care for them. May all children be treated with respect, and allowed to grow up in loving homes, but especially for those whose families of origin have been broken, provide protection and caring homes, so they know Your loving provision for them. By the power of Your Holy Spirit, work supernaturally in their hearts to heal the losses and traumas they have faced, so they are freed to become the people You created them to be. Protect them also from all who might intend them harm. We pray too, for the birth parents, and families of origin, console their mother and father hearts as they grieve the separation from their children. Reunite where possible and encourage our culture to embrace the blessing of adoption, and foster care to help both children and parents. May our adoption into Your family inspire us to care for orphans.
All this we pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen.