6 Truths About Adoption That Every Christian Should Know

Monday, April 22, 2019
Adoption is a Biblical concept that Christians should take very seriously. Learn why adoption matters for Christians. Find out 6 truths about adoption that every Christian should know.


A while back, I had my sweet friend, Bethany, share about how she and her husband ended up adopting two half-sisters - it's a beautiful story! Then in another post, I had other bloggers share their experience as people who had been adopted. Now, a couple of years later, I am so excited to have one of my dear friends, Emily, share 6 truths about adoption that every Christian should know. Emily is a Pregnancy Counselor with Lifeline Children's Services. I asked her to be a guest on TPT because I believe she has a unique opportunity to see the ins and outs of adoption that most of us are ignorant to. She is also my dear friend and an inspiring woman of God. So sit back and really soak this one in, peculiar treasures! It's such a good read!


Over the past few weeks I’ve been asking my friends and family a question that I’d like to ask you, the person who’s graciously taking a few minutes of their day to read this post. Think back to the first time you remember having a concept of adoption. Maybe you were a small child or teenager when you heard about adoption from a friend, encountered a child at school who had been adopted, or read about adoption in a book. Whatever your encounter looked like, and whenever it occurred, what initial impression did you have regarding adoption? Did you see it as a positive thing, a negative thing, or somewhere in between?

I’ve gotten some amazing and really insightful responses to my questions, but one theme has risen to the surface again and again- adoption is unique, and often times people don’t know what to think about it! As someone who works in the space of adoption and orphan care, let me share a few things I’ve learned about adoption that shape how I view this amazing, yet often misunderstood topic.


1. Adoption Is a Picture of the Gospel

Though you’ve probably heard it said before, take a moment to consider the amazing truth that if you are a believer in Christ you’ve been adopted! From before the foundation of the world adoption was God’s plan to bring a fallen creation not only into right relationship with Him, but into His family as co-heirs with Christ! As a people dead in our sins, what could we do for God? What could we offer Him? How could we pursue Him? When we were completely helpless, unable to take the first step towards God, He looked on us in love and did all the work that was needed to secure our position in His family when we, by grace through faith, accept His free gift of salvation. Earthly adoption is a beautiful picture of this spiritual reality!

2. Adoption Is an Event, Not a Label

Have you ever heard someone introduce a person in this way: “This is ________, my adopted son”? While the vast majority of people who make this or similar statements have only good intentions, adoption is a one-time event that occurs in a person’s life, not a label to be worn or a lens to be viewed through. Legally and practically speaking, adoption is an event that takes place, and after it has occurred the adoptee has equal and permanent standing in their forever family! We see this reflected in Scripture as it references our spiritual adoption, and the same thing applies to earthly adoption:


3. Adoption Language Matters

Scripture tells us that the words we use have great impact (Proverbs 18:21, James 3:1-12) and this truth is clearly displayed in adoption! Before I began working in the field of adoption, I was quick to use common phrases like “gave up” or “put up” for adoption, or “real parent” rather than birth or biological parent. Don’t feel bad if this is something you’ve done; we’ve all used these common phrases with no ill intent! But think about this: what kind of things do we give away? Things of little value, things with no use, things we don’t want- is this really what a birth parent is doing when they choose adoption for their child? Definitely not! Even if adoption is something you’re not personally called to, you can help create a culture that celebrates adoption by using positive language such as “placed for adoption” or “made an adoption plan” that communicates the worth and value of both the adoptee and the birth parent!

4. Adoption Is Messy

Friends, adoption is messy! Every adoption begins in a place of grief and hardship for everyone in the adoption triad (birth parents, adoptive parents, child). Though adoption is a beautiful and redemptive thing, it exists because of sin and brokenness in the world that causes families to break apart. That being said, every child who is adopted has a story that contains trauma, even if they come into their forever families as a newly born baby. Though the adoption journey is a messy one, praise God for the way He provides love, mercy, strength, and grace for those who are daily walking the pathway of adoption!

5. Adoption Isn’t for Everyone (but Orphan Care Is)

Throughout Scripture we are told of God’s heart for the fatherless, and how as Christ followers we are called to care for the fatherless (Psalm 10:14, Psalm 68:5-6, James 1:27, Isaiah 1:17, Psalm 82:3). Adopting a child will not be God’s specific call for every believer, but being involved in orphan care is a call that applies to every disciple of Christ! Whether it’s donating time, money, or talents to an adoptive family or adoption ministry, providing meals or respite care to a foster family, or participating in a mission trip to love on orphans domestically or internationally, if you’re a believer, you’re called to orphan care.

6. Adoption Isn’t About Us

Many people hold a common misconception that adoption is primarily about growing one’s family. While this desire is in no way wrong or negative, if growing one’s family is the only motivation for pursuing adoption it will likely prove unsatisfying in the end. Remember Scripture’s description of God’s heart for the fatherless, the believer’s call to orphan care, and the call to make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20)? In light of this, as believers, to place ourselves and our desires at the center of adoption would be missing the mark that God intends for us. Adoption is meant to glorify God, to care for image bearers that He created, and to bring those who need to be exposed to the hope of the gospel into families who will be faithful to make disciples. In short, adoption isn’t about us, but glory to God He allows us to take part in the beautifully messy picture of the gospel that is adoption!

6 Truths About Adoption in a Nutshell 

  • Adoption Is a Picture of the Gospel
  • Adoption Is an Event, Not a Label
  • Adoption Language Matters
  • Adoption Is Messy
  • Adoption Isn’t for Everyone (but Orphan Care Is)
  • Adoption Isn’t About Us

Adoption Questions and Answers

Q: Why is adoption so expensive?
A: Did you know that 50% of Christian families consider adopting, but only 2% complete an adoption? The top two reasons cited for this are families feel their questions about adoption are not adequately answered, and families are worried about how they will pay for an adoption.  While the answer to the expense question is longer than what can be stated here, know two things: #1. If God places adoption on your family’s heart He will provide #2. Numerous resources exist to support families in their adoption journey. Here’s a great place to start!

Q: If I’m able to have children biologically, why would I consider adopting a child?
A: In short, because the heart of God is for the fatherless and vulnerable, and as His followers our heart should be as well. As stated in the article, this won’t always look like adoption or fostering. However, if the Lord has blessed your family with the practical, spiritual, and emotional means to bring a vulnerable child into your family, a better question might be “why wouldn’t I consider adopting a child in need of a forever family?”

Q: I feel led towards adoption, but I don’t know if domestic or international adoption is right for my family. Where do I begin?

A: First and foremost, pray and ask the Lord to guide you in this decision! He will be faithful to answer as you pray according to His will (1 John 5:14-15). Next, consider what passions and parameters God has already built into your family’s story- do you have a heart to minister to birth parents through openness in adoption? Domestic adoption may be for you! In considering international adoption, is there a culture or specific country you have a heart for? Each country that participates in inter-country adoption will have different adoptive parent requirements (length of marriage, number of children in your home, age, income, etc.) View these requirements as guideposts that God has already placed in your life to point you towards a country that is a good fit for your family.

Emily's Picks for Adoption Resources

Emily is a Pregnancy Counselor with Lifeline Children's Services in Columbus, GA. When she's not spending time with expectant moms or families who have adopted internationally you can find her reading at a coffee shop, hanging out with friends from her church community group, or spending time with the most amazing kids on the planet (a.k.a. Emily's seven nieces and nephews).



What Christians should know about adoption

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