Why You Shouldn't Adopt

by Oct 7, 2009

Many, many, MANY people I meet take one look at our multicultural family and quickly tell me how much they want to adopt someday. I say to each one of them, “That’s nice. Don’t do it.”

I’m kidding around with them, but adoption is the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced. The process itself is a long, grueling, emotional roller-coaster ride, no matter if you adopt domestically or abroad, private or foster. It can be obscenely expensive, since many in the adoption industry really do see it as an industry. The adjustment and bonding process can be extremely difficult, especially if you’re adopting an older kid or a special-needs child (and Hawaii now considers every foster child to be special-needs, assuming wisely that a child can’t be taken from his home without some serious issues before and after it happens).

Since adoption is so trendy right now, most people don’t think about how hard it is. They want to be just like Brangelina, and have their own United Nations at the dinner table every night. Lots of Christians think it’s an easy way to make God happy: no matter how much they screw up in the future, they can always say inside, “But I adopted an orphan!”

Yes, the need is great. There are 143 million orphans in the world. There are 129,000 foster kids in the U.S. waiting to be adopted. As pro-life Christians, we need to back up our commitment to unborn babies with an even more serious commitment to already-born children. But if we adopt with the wrong motives, we’re setting ourselves and our adopted kids up for major heartache.

That’s why I’m extremely grateful for this new resource from Together for Adoption: a free PDF e-book that brings the heart of the gospel into adoption:

With this many orphans in the United States and in the world, the church has a monumental task before it if it is to practice true religion. James 1:27 says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction.” Clearly, the church has its work cut out for it.

But… Christians who are not confident of God’s love and delight in them as His dear children will find it extremely difficult to care for orphans when it’s hard, really hard. When you’re not convinced that the Father delights in you even as He delights in Jesus, you don’t have the emotional capital necessary to visit orphans in their distress over the long haul.

Before we can adopt others with the right heart, we need to understand our own adoption:

In adoption, God takes us into His family and fellowship, and establishes us as His children and heirs. Closeness, affection and generosity are at the heart of the relationship. To be right with God the judge is a great thing, but to be loved and cared for by God the father is greater.

Download the book. Read it. Then pursue adoption out of God’s overflowing love for you.