(By CP Cartoonist Rod Anderson)
Saturday, November 23, is National Adoption Day. This observance gives Americans the opportunity to focus on this neglected, multi-faceted issue that impacts our national future in significant ways.
First, Christians of all denominational persuasions across America should ask themselves this question, "As a Christian, what should my response be to the issue of adoption?" A biblical response to that question would go a long way toward successfully addressing the child neglect and child abuse crisis that afflict America.
Currently there are more than 100,000 children in foster care in America alone, with many times more across the globe, awaiting permanent adoption into loving "forever" families.
Frankly, I can think of no more "Christian" act that Christian married couples could perform than to adopt a child who is in desperate need of a mother and a father, and who will raise that child, or children, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4 ). After all, aren't all of us as Christians God-adopted? When we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, God declared us His children. As a result of our Heavenly Father having adopted us, we have a loving, forgiving, perfect, divine Father as illustrated by Jesus in the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15).
I would encourage all eligible Christian couples to pray seriously about whether or not God wants them to adopt children in need of loving, caring parents.
Adoption is not only the best answer for the heartache and loneliness of foster children and those in orphanages both here and around the world, but it is also the best answer in almost every case where a mother finds herself with a "problem" pregnancy. Such pregnancies can arise from numerous circumstances, but most commonly they are a "problem" because the father is not married to the mother. Currently, almost all such single mothers choose either to abort or keep their babies (only 1 percent of such pregnancies currently end in adoption). Last year, 53 percent of babies born to women under thirty were born to single mothers. And yet, though adoption is seldom chosen in response to such pregnancies, it is virtually always the best option for everyone concerned.
Killing your "problem" or "unwanted" pregnancy through abortion is never an acceptable option (unless the child is a direct and immediate threat to the mother's continued physical life.) In an abortion, the baby always dies, and we lose that child's unique and never to be known God-given gifts and contributions to the world. Further, an abortion is much more traumatic physically to a mother's future reproductive life than carrying a baby to term would be. There are also often lingering psychological issues for the mother as well.
Keeping the baby is almost never preferable to allowing a baby to be adopted into a solid, faithful Christian home. A single mother who keeps her baby is quite often denying that baby the father that God wants for that baby, and every baby, to have. Furthermore, in most circumstances, keeping the baby circumscribes and forecloses both the mother's and the baby's economic futures in tragic and unfortunate ways.
If the mother is doing what is best for her baby (one of the defining marks of maternal love), she will part with her baby so that it will have the future God intended for him or her to have. The Old Testament story of the two harlots who both had babies and one died in the night comes to mind (1Kings 3). Both women claimed the surviving baby was their child and wanted the king to give the baby to them. King Solomon decided to have the baby divided in two and each be given half. Immediately, the real mother told the king to give the baby to the other woman in order to save the child's life. In other words, she was thinking of the child's best interest, not her own.
Adoption allows the mother to give her child both a mother and a father who will love and cherish the child. Also with today's open adoption policies, she can have as much or as little contact with, and information about, her child as she desires. She can dictate the terms of the adoption (monthly reports, quarterly visits, etc.), and the adoptive parents either agree or the adoption does not occur.
It is a tragedy of tragedies that only 1 percent of the "problem" pregnancies in America end in adoption. The terrible cost of the lost human potential of the aborted children is both breath-taking and overpowering, as well as the heartache of parents who long to adopt, but cannot find children to embrace and love as their own.
Let's all get behind adoption as the best option. After all, adoption has followed the Christian faith wherever it has gone in the world, and for good reason. Adoption reflects God's love experienced by all professing Christians throughout the last two millennia.