Sunday, July 27, 2014

What God Has Joined Together: Changing How We Think About Adoption


I hear it not infrequently.  And it always makes me cringe.

The latest version went like this:
God is molding a baby in another mother's womb to be the perfect fit for our family.

I don't know whether to cry or to scream.

I absolutely believe this woman is good-hearted - I don't blame her for this misunderstanding of God's heart in adoption.

I blame the Christian Adoption Movement that has promoted this unbiblical concept of adoption.

This Approach is Hypocritical
I am continually amazed at this movement (which, admittedly, is not a homogenous, organized movement - but numerous leaders throughout the country) that can claim that we don't need to worry too much about ethics in adoption - because God is sovereign...and can simultaneously claim that God is reduced to putting my child in another woman's womb rather than my own.  Is He sovereign or what?

Do they not realize what this approach means?  It means that God is the author of sin and heartache.  It looks something like this:

god [in Heaven, forming eternal souls]:  Let's see, this one is for Jane Smith, in America.
Gabriel:  Uh...  I'm afraid she's infertile.
god:  Really?!  Hmmm...  I didn't figure on that.  What to do...what to do...
Gabriel:  Well, you could always cause one of those women in Ethiopia to be desperately poor.  Then you could put the baby in her womb - and she could take him to the orphanage!
god:  Good idea, Gabe!  Or...there's that young girl in Chicago.  I could have her uncle rape her...and then she'd want to give up the baby. to get this baby to Jane...?
God does not put your baby in another woman's womb.  God does not orchestrate the sin, heartache, and desperation that leads women to relinquish their precious children.

It makes me crazy.

But not as crazy as this makes me..

The Approach is Unbiblical
Praying for sin & coveting other people's children:
If I were to tell you that I had the hots (do people still have the hots these days?  I am so out of the loop on cool just roll with me here (unless people don't roll anymore)) for my neighbor's husband, I hope you'd think that wasn't cool.  I hope you'd tell me that I was out of line.

What if I told you that I was praying that they'd break up so he could be mine?

I hope you'd think that was a pretty jerky think to pray for.

What if I asked you to pray with me that they'd break up so I could have her husband?

What if it looked like they were having problems and I asked you to pray that he wouldn't go back to her - so that I could have him?

That's all pretty nasty, right?  I mean, who prays for the break up of a family so that a member of that family could be yours?

Lots of people.

Lots of people who have bought that thinking from the "Christian Adoption Movement."

Most of us in our right minds agree that what God has joined together we do not help tear apart.

Unless it's a mother and a child we want.

I understand that there are many infertile couples who desperately want a family.  Truly; I understand that.  And, as much as a woman who didn't struggle with that issue can, I sympathize.

That does not excuse coveting other people's children.

There are many lonely single women as well, and we would never encourage them to wish for another woman's husband.  There are ways for us to meet our God-given desire to nurture children that do not include praying for the break up of a family God has created. 

Abusing the Poor:
Scripture is very clear: we are to help the poor.  When the vast majority of children in orphanages around the world are there because their parents are too poor to raise them, their adoptions are actually the robbing of children from the poor, rather than helping them.

Isn't it crazy that we have not only ignored what the Bible clearly states about helping the poor, and we have abused them by using their poverty as a reason to take from them their most precious possession in the name of Jesus!

Talk about Satan masquerading as an angel of light!  How many of us think we're serving Jesus when we're completely ignoring His heart for the poor?

Don't Get Me Wrong

I believe adoption is a beautiful solution to horrible situations.  I don't think we should ever pray for a family to be separated so that we can adopt - that is called coveting and it's a sin.  I believe Scripture teaches that we are to give to the poor, not take from them.  To take a poor woman's child because she is poor is a sin.

There are many, many children who cannot be reunited with their families.  There are numerous children (most of them not cuddly newborns - but beautiful children of God nonetheless) who desperately need people to step up and be the family that they cannot have.  For these children, adoption is a beautiful solution to sin and death in the world.

Changing How We Think About Adoption
I think it is glorious that Christians care about children in need.  However, we have been sold a lie when it comes to adoption in America.  We have allowed ourselves to be cast as the heroes in a drama that ignores God's Word on many occasions.  Instead of God-loving heroes "saving" poor children, we are sometimes actually Scripture-ignoring villains that participate in robbing parents of their precious God-given blessings.

Man says that adoption is an appropriate response to poverty.
God calls us to help the poor.

Man says that God forms babies in the wombs of other women so that I can be a mother.
God says that He forms babies in the wombs of their mothers.

Man says it's okay to separate a family if I can offer the child more material or spiritual blessings.
Scripture says, "what God has joined together, let no man separate."

It's time to decide whose will we will follow - whose word we truly believe.

Shared with:
Spiritual Sundays
SDG Gathering
Titus 2sDay Link Up
Teaching What is Good
Titus 2 Tuesday
Running After God Linkup
Marriage Monday
Wise Woman Linkup
Winsome Wednesday


  1. Thanks for the change of heart. This adult adoptee from the baby scoop generation is grateful. We've gotten it wrong for a long time. My birthfather ended up with a PhD, my birth mom a master's degree, and later bio brother followed with his own Master's degree. My point is my parents were capable to raise a child, but were shamed into silence and relinquishment. Yes, I too ended up with a masters degree. The only one in my adoptive family with a burning desire to further my education. Midway through my graduate program I found my birth family along with a big ah ha. Now be on the alert of how few adult adoptees get to have their voices heard or even a seat at the table in the adoption movement.

    1. Thank you for your comment! It seems - and I hope it is so - that adoptee voices are beginning to be heard. Unfortunately, I don't think that is because adoptees are being sought out, but because adoptees are refusing to be silenced anymore - and I am SO glad for that!

  2. Hmm, that's definitely a different way of looking at I have never thought of actually. This is really a tough issue and I am currently discussing it with my husband this very minute.

    I'm an African and I know that many of the children in orphanages are actually children who have lost their parents and whose remaining families are financially unable to take care of them. So in this case, if a family takes this child in then that is wonderful. But now that you bring this up, I am even beginning to wonder what laws protect children that are adopted from less-developed countries where the laws are not always adhered to.

    I wish life did not have to be this complicated sometime. Humph.That's me sighing. Truly a "can of worms" you opened up there. Thanks for linking up for Working Christian Mommy today !

    1. Gertrude, that is *exactly* where I was 9 months or so ago when this was brought to my attention.

      You know, you mention the children from African countries who have families who are financially unable to care for them - and when I realized this, it rocked my world. Should we take the children God gave them...or should we give them money the Lord has blessed us with so that they can keep their children?

      It is definitely a "can of worms" as you have said. As Jesus-lovers we have been told that adoption is the way to "love our neighbors" - and sometimes that is absolutely the case. And, yet, if we are taking children from people simply because they are too poor to raise their own children - when we are wealthy enough to spend tens of thousands to do that - are we really loving our neighbor?

      I'm so glad you wrote, Gertrude. Thank you! I'd love hearing more (regardless of where you fall on the topic) if you ever want to share!

  3. I've just been reading lots of articles about unethical adoption this week. I love your point in the comment above: Should we "buy" the children of the poor or should we share our financial wealth with them to ease their situation?

    I am hoping this tip of the iceburg allows more openness to supporting a family in a poor country... I think in God's economy, they would become family to you and the reunion would be incredible. On earth or in heaven.

    Which leads me to wonder how Jesus could rescue more people... by us adopting only true orphans, caring for the widows and giving to the poor or taking more (I would say if you took my children, even I willingly relinquished them that I would be poor in spirit for life.) from them or giving more to them.

    I have much to ponder tonight.

    1. "Which leads me to wonder how Jesus could rescue more people... by us adopting only true orphans, caring for the widows and giving to the poor or taking more (I would say if you took my children, even I willingly relinquished them that I would be poor in spirit for life.) from them or giving more to them."

      Great point, Lisa.


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