In the battle against the genocide that is abortion, Christians have many avenues of attack. One of those avenues is adoption. For some, raising the issue of adoption seems so remote to their situation, such an article seems irrelevant. However, adoption is a vital issue every believer needs to consider and in which every believer needs to participate as we seek to bring an end to the horrors of abortion. To show this, I will present a brief biblical case for adoption and outline ways you might participate in adoption.
The biblical case for adoption is vast and theologically rich. For the sake of brevity, I only want to highlight three points about adoption to help you see that it is rooted in God’s Word and in some sense enjoined upon every believer.
First, adoption is a picture of the gospel. Romans 8:14 says, “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” That we should be called the sons of God as Spirit-led believers in Jesus Christ raises the question, How did we become sons of God? Paul answers that question in the next verse: “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’” Through the gospel God has brought us into His family and made Christians His sons, and we enter God’s family through adoption. We become children of God in such a profound way that our hearts cry out “Father” to God! Our adoption means that we are heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17). This picture Paul paints in Romans of divine adoption indicates that every blessing we have in Christ, whether now or in the future when we are glorified with Him, comes to us by means of adoption into the family of God.
Paul makes a similar argument in Galatians 4:5-6. Jesus came into the world so that God might adopt us as His sons. Marvelously, the goal of our redemption was to bring us into this relationship with God where we cry out “Father” to Him! Once again, as in Romans, Paul grounds our future inheritance with Christ in our adoption as sons of God (Gal 4:7). God even sent His Spirit into our hearts because we are now His sons through adoption in Jesus Christ (Gal 4:6). The gospel itself is the message of adoption as God our Father brings us into His family not as slaves but as sons, and He does so by adopting us as His own.
Second, we see throughout the Bible that we are called to care for orphans. Many passages assert this Christian duty, but one perhaps puts it more succinctly than all the others: Isaiah 1:17. “Defend the orphan.” Perhaps our normal way of defining the word orphan would involve a child whose parents have died, but that is not always the case, especially in Scripture. In Brown, Driver, and Briggs Hebrew lexicon, the word translated orphan means one who is helpless or exposed to injury, and they add this note: “In no case [is it] clear that both parents are dead.” In his commentary on this verse, John Calvin wrote, “It seldom happens that the causes of the fatherless and widows are defended, because men do not expect from them any rewards.” The orphans are thus those children who are helpless and exposed to injury and who have nothing with which to reward those who would stand in the breach and defend their cause. It is hard to conceive a more apt description of babies whose parents are considering murdering them before they ever have a chance for their first breath. As Christians, we are called to defend them and to care for them, and by welcoming them into our homes through adoption when possible, we are fulfilling a biblical mandate.
Finally, adoption brings children into Christian homes who otherwise might not have had access to godly parents who would teach them the gospel. Without delving into all the theological and exegetical debates surrounding 1 Corinthians 7:12-16, we can say that there is something sacred about being a member of a family where one or both of the parents love Jesus Christ. When Christian parents adopt, they bring a child into such a sanctified and holy home.
Since adoption is a beautiful picture of the gospel, and since caring for orphans is mandated for the people of God, and since adoption brings children into Christian families when Christians adopt, it follows that as Christians we should all participate in adoption as we contend against abortion. But it is also true that not everyone is able or called to adopt. So how can you participate in adoption as we seek God’s grace in bringing an end to abortion? Let me suggest five ways you can help.
First, prayerfully consider adopting a child. While, as I said, everyone is not in a position to adopt, I am convinced far more Christian couples can adopt than are willing to adopt a child (or children!). When my wife first approached me about adoption, I absolutely was not on board. It was too expensive. It was too time-consuming. There were too many variables. What if my wife became pregnant while we were in the process of adopting? What if we thought we were adopting a healthy baby but then discovered medical problems we were not equipped to face financially or emotionally? What if? What if? What if? So my wife quietly went about praying for unity between us on the question of adoption. She then asked me to pray about it, too. I agreed. About a year later (and I’m sure much more time praying about it by her than by me!), God had changed my heart, and then eight months later we picked up our beautiful daughter. I thank God every day for allowing us the privilege of adopting, but I never would have considered it at one point. Prayer changed that. That might be scary for you, but if God has a child for you through adoption, you will receive a blessing beyond description. So, prayerfully consider if God is calling you to adopt.
Second, prayerfully consider foster care. Parents whose children are teenagers or adults should especially consider this option. After all, they know how to parent! Thousands of children are in group homes or the foster care system throughout our country without the care only a parent can provide. While foster care in many cases is only temporary, the love and kindness a child receives from godly foster parents is of inestimable value in shaping their character and understanding of God as the heavenly Father. Before we adopted our daughter, she lived with a foster family for about a month. We cannot thank God enough for the love they gave her during those early weeks of her life.
Third, prayerfully consider financially supporting families who are adopting. One of the greatest barriers to adoption, especially private adoption, is the financial burden it places on adoptive families. Our adoption cost nearly $20,000, and it remains one of the least expensive private adoptions of which I’m aware. We simply could not have adopted our daughter without the generosity of family, friends, and anonymous donors who gave to adoption grant foundations. Many Christian adoption grant options exist, but one we particularly like is Katelyn’s Fund, as they help support Christian adoptive families financially. If you are not called to adopt or foster, perhaps God would allow you to help someone financially who is pursuing adoption.
Fourth, pray for families you know who have adopted. Adoption is beautiful, but it is also challenging. Kids who have been adopted sometimes feel rejected, different from their birth families, and insecure about their identity. Parents know the love we have for our children, and our hearts break whenever our adopted children go through the pain that sometimes accompanies adoption. We need prayer. Our children need prayer. Even if you can’t adopt, foster, or contribute to those who are, you can pray for families that have adopted, that Christ would be glorified in this picture of His gospel.
Finally, pray for moms who are considering placing their children for adoption. Perhaps you know women in this position. Maybe you don’t know anyone like this. But there are thousands of women facing fear and uncertainty as they grapple with an unplanned pregnancy. Some of them are wondering if they should have an abortion. Pray they would learn about placing their children for adoption and choose life instead. Pray for them after they place their children for adoption. Pray that they would come to know Christ if they are unbelievers. Even if you don’t know them by name, Christ does, and He will hear your prayers on behalf of them and their unborn children.
As the 44th anniversary of the horrific SCOTUS decision Roe v. Wade passes, our hearts break because we know we cannot immediately bring about a reversal of this unjust ruling. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything. One way we can fight abortion is through adoption. We can adopt, we can foster, we can financially support others seeking to do so, and we can pray. May God bring an end to this genocide, and may He raise up families to welcome and love children through the wonder of adoption.