PCA pursues partnership with Lifeline Children’s Services as 'preferred' adoption agency over BCS

Unsplash/Maxime Bhm
Unsplash/Maxime Bhm

The Presbyterian Church in America has endorsed Lifeline Children’s Services as its "preferred adoption and orphan care ministry" due to its “commitment to the sanctity of life” and not Bethany Christian Services, which recently announced it would be offering its services to LGBT couples.

At its 48th annual convention in St. Louis, Missouri, this week, the PCA General Assembly passed a resolution in support of Lifeline “because of its national presence, global reach, and its unwavering commitment to the sanctity of life and mission to provide positive alternatives to abortion, through adoption.”

The resolution directs the PCA’s outreach arm, the Mission to North America, to “explore the advisability of endorsing Lifeline Children’s Services as a resource for PCA churches,” the denomination said in a statement.

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"We are honored to pursue an official partnership with the Presbyterian Church in America denomination,” Herbie Newell, president of Lifeline Children’s Services, said.

Newell noted that churches and ministries in the PCA network are “unapologetically rooted in Scripture and its teachings about the sanctity of life and the dignity of orphans and vulnerable children.”

“At Lifeline, we look forward to co-laboring more with PCA churches, and all Bible-believing churches, across America to serve children and mothers and share the Gospel with them,” Newell added.

The endorsement of Lifeline comes three months after the Michigan-based group Bethany, which is the nation’s largest Protestant adoption and foster agency, announced it would begin placing children with adults who identify as LGBT. 

In a statement to The Christian Post at the time, Nathan Bult, senior vice president of the historically evangelical organization, said that faith in Jesus is at the “core” of their mission,” but they were “not claiming a position on the various doctrinal issues about which Christians may disagree.”

“We acknowledge that discussions about doctrine are important, but our sole job is to determine if a family can provide a safe, stable environment for children,” Bult said. “Unlike many other child and family welfare organizations, Bethany is committed to partnering with churches to find as many families for vulnerable children as possible, and we seek to place children with families that share our mission.”

He added, “We believe that Christians with diverse beliefs can unify around our mission of demonstrating the love and compassion of Jesus. It's an ambitious mission, and we can only accomplish it together.”

Bethany’s latest decision was met with disappointment from evangelical and Christian leaders.

Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky,  said at the time that in choosing to open its services to LGBT couples, Bethany decided to “meet the demands of the moral revolutionaries.”

Last January, Bethany said it would soon end international adoptions and would instead focus on supporting children in their home communities.

“Our decision to phase out international adoption is not a criticism of the program, but a reflection of our desire to serve children in their own communities,” Kristi Gleason, the vice president for global services at Bethany Christian Services, said at the time.

Gleason noted that international adoptions to the U.S. dropped from nearly 30,000 children in 2004 to just over 4,000 in 2018.

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