Adoptive Parents Desperately Needed in U.S., Worldwide

Opinion   |   Rob Schwarzwalder   |   Jul 17, 2012   |   3:04PM   |   Washington, DC

Adoption is one of the crying needs not just of our culture but of our world.

Here at home, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in 2009 there were more than 114,000 children in public foster care alone who needed to become part of a loving family. This number does not include the many thousands of children awaiting adoption through private agencies.

Worldwide, it is estimated that there are 15 million children growing up without either a mother or father.

Christians should have a special place in their hearts for adoption because all who know Christ are themselves adopted into God’s family. Paul the apostle writes that believers have been adopted by God through the Savior (Romans 8:15, 23; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5). The Lord Jesus was Himself raised by an adoptive father.

Last year, FRC was honored to host Ryan Bomberger, himself an adoptee who shared with us his beautiful testimony of love and healing. You can watch it here. Additionally, FRC’s Marriage and Religion Research Institute has shown that “Adoption Works Well.”

Pastor Tony Merida, in his new book Orphanology, describes both the theological foundation for adoption and the way that individuals and churches can be involved embracing little ones who so greatly need a mom and a dad. Pastor Merida is strongly pro-life and is the adoptive dad of five children. His book is a gracious exhortation to Christians to consider how they can partner with precious young lives to create families where affection and hope and security transform not just the lives of children, but of the parents who adopt them.

Pastor Merida is a realist. For that reason, he makes a compelling point about practical aid for children in desperate need:

In many countries, you can’t bring children home. The church should be thinking creatively and intentionally about how to care for these kids in terms of maybe sponsorship, in terms of helping to educate them, in terms of taking the Gospel to them. A big one would be transitional assistance for children who are not adoptable — how can we get them jobs, how can we get them into society and help them have a successful life? Churches could even underwrite an orphanage.

Later in the same interview, he asks a poignant question: “Let’s say Roe v. Wade is overturned and there are more orphans than ever before. Are we willing to pay the price to care for them, to do all that is necessary to provide for them?”

That’s a humbling question, and one all Christians should ponder — even as, at the same time, we do all we can to end the horror of abortion itself. Rob Schwarzwalder is with the Family Research Council.