After reading Dr. Land's article "Adoption: The Best Option," I was reminded of a recent television show produced by the Oprah Winfrey network titled "Fatherless Sons" Lifeclass. On that show, about 150 men were part of the television audience, ranging in ages from 12 to over 70 years old. Oprah and Iyanla Vanzant held a very frank discussion of the impact fatherlessness has on our nation and our children. When asked by Oprah to define what a father is, Iyanla said "Protector, provider, to be a model, a demonstration of what it means to be a man." Oprah then stated that fatherlessness in our nation is "an epidemic." According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 41% of all babies born in the U.S. are to unmarried women. In some communities, it is almost double that amount.
One of the many professionals participating in the program, Roland Warren, the former president of The National Fatherhood Initiative, stated that "kids have a hole in their soul in the shape of their dad" and that there are "consequences to father-absence." From the 12-year-old boy to the 70+ year old man, heartbreaking stories were shared about the deep hurt, rejection, and aching that exists within these men for a Daddy. Statistics and data were shared on the outcomes for men who are raised in fatherless homes: twice as likely to go to jail, less likely to graduate college, earn less money, more likely to father a child out of wedlock, and so on.
A series followed the "Fatherless Sons" class that was aimed at women, "Daddyless Daughters." It was the same format and basically similar outcomes for the women. Audience members shared their deep ache to have a man, a father, to love and protect them. Promiscuity among fatherless girls was one of the outcomes that Iyanla discussed in depth. Statistics for the women were not any better than for the men. more >>
Two young foster children living in Knox County, Tenn., have been granted an early Christmas wish after they sent a prayer balloon into the sky this past summer asking God to give them adoptive parents and a forever home by the end of December.
The girls, Eva, 6, and Jasmine, 8, were attending Vacation Bible School at their east Tennessee church over the summer when they decided to send their prayer request up in a balloon along with 30 other balloons carrying the prayers of other students at the Bible camp. Eva and Jasmine had been living with their foster parents, Lynn and Dennis, for only two months when they decided they wanted to be officially adopted by them, and their prayer request to God was asking Him to grant the wish by Christmas.
"Eva 6, Jasmine 8, we want to be adopted by our new mother and father this Christmas," the note, which was written on an index card and sealed in a zip lock bag, read. more >>
Melissa Ohden has been a survivor since before she was born. She was left to die in the womb by her mother who had a late term abortion is her 8th month using a saline infusion to burn the baby to death in the embryonic fluid.
Five days later when Melissa's birth mother went to deliver a dead baby, that little premature life was still alive and fighting. At the hospital the doctors and nurses took care of her until a family found her and adopted her as their own.
Hear Melissa's powerful and amazing testimony of survival and second chances as she has grown into a beautiful woman both inside and out. more >>
Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas recently celebrated the opening of a new facility in Ft. Worth, TX. More than a few critics have noted the irony that the new Southwest Ft. Worth Health Center is located next to the Gladney Adoption Center, an organization that has been providing pregnancy support and adoption services to the country for 125 years. When questioned about their choice to build next door to an adoption center, Ken Lambrecht, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Greater Texas said, "As far as we're concerned, being next door to Gladney is wonderful."
I suppose Mr. Lambrecht's perspective has a sort of logic about it, assuming you view pregnancy exclusively in terms of a women's rights issue. Having an abortion facility next door to an adoption agency provides a sort of one-stop shop for women with unintended or unwanted pregnancies. In Lambrecht's view, abortion and adoption are simply different choices that achieve the same outcome: women who are unwilling or unable to care for their unborn children are relieved of the burden of doing so. Neither choice is better or worse than the other. It's all about educating women about their options.
And this is really what our culture is all about today, isn't it? We revere choice, and we bristle at anyone or anything that would impose constraints on our choices. In a society where God's law and transcendent truths no longer inform our values, the buck stops with the individual. He or she is the one who decides what's "right" based purely upon how they feel about their situation. In response to this "rights" rhetoric, pro-life apologists often reply with their own version of the rights argument. If the Founders were correct, and we are all endowed with unalienable rights, then a woman's right to privacy (or bodily integrity, or a baby-free womb or whatever right she feels it is that her baby violates) must be weighed against her unborn child's unalienable right to life. more >>
On November 23rd, many across our nation will celebrate National Adoption Day. And there is much to celebrate about this family institution that has made us a better and stronger society.
Virtually every American has been touched in some way by adoptions that give babies and children a second chance to live happy, safe and productive lives. They have also provided a second chance for millions of parents who cannot have biological children to nonetheless have kids of their own to love and cherish unconditionally.
As a nation, we may remain divided on many issues, but virtually everyone agrees that more adoptions in America are a worthwhile and unifying goal. But even as we celebrate the miracle of adoptions, we must also highlight the challenges associated with them that must be overcome. more >>
Six years after Guatemala passed a new law intended to address fraudulent adoptions, children still wait to be united with their adoptive parents. The Christian Post spoke with three adoptive parents who indicated that Guatemalan government officials appear to be blocking them from bringing their children to their new homes.
Ruth Sheehan, Carri and Jason Kern, and J.P. and Donna von Halle all began the adoption process before the "Ortega law" went into effect in January 2008. Guatemala passed the law at the insistence of the U.S. State Department to comply with the United Nations' Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption.
After the Ortega law was passed, Guatemala shut down all intercountry adoptions (even though the allegations of fraudulent adoptions have never been proven true), thus making the law a tragedy for many of the same children it was supposedly drafted to protect. more >>