Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I come to you in peace and with a full heart. I admire you for your fight against the destructive evil of abortion and I pray for our cause often. Yet, God has laid on my heart another cause that is often viewed separately from the right to life, but should really be viewed in tandem. The Lord has led me to the conclusion that pro-lifers need to be just as passionate about adoption as they are about stopping abortion, as advocating for adoption goes hand in hand with convincing mothers to carry through with their pregnancy.
The Lord has a heart for orphans. This is evident throughout all of Scripture. I have only listed a few passages, but do a quick keyword search of “fatherless” and you will see quite a lot of references!
- Deuteronomy 10:17-18 — For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing.
- Isaiah 1:17 — Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.
- James 1:27 — Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
Why does God tell us Christians to care for the fatherless?
- We were once fatherless spiritually, but now we are not
- We are called to care for the hurting, the poor, and the destitute
- Look at the statistics of our world, and what evil men can do with vulnerable orphans: child slave trafficking, homelessness, prostitution, gang violence, etc.
- Caring for the fatherless will help our cause against abortion
Let me talk about that last point a little more in-depth. Many pro-lifers tell women that they should not abort because their unwanted child will be wanted by someone else, presumably a couple unable to have kids. “You shouldn’t kill your baby, because there are thousands of people dying to have a baby!” — this is the reasoning I hear most frequently. But if that’s the case, why are there still 400,000+ children in foster care in America? Women who consider abortion are hurting. They are frightened because they feel they cannot care for their child and many do not want to see their child suffer in an institution for years before chancing an adoption. To some, it might seem like more of a mercy to terminate the child than to allow it to suffer. (View statistical reasons for abortions.)
We can change that. How much more powerful would it be if we told women that not only would their child be adopted by a loving family, but you knew several families off the top of your head who were willing and able, both financially and emotionally, to adopt another mother’s child? I do not believe this will SOLVE the abortion issue, but I do believe it will aid it, and mostly importantly — it will please God if we make it a priority to care for orphans. Unfortunately, as of right now, a very small percentage of Christians even consider adoption. Most of us grow up believing only people who are physically unable to have their own children should consider and care for orphans, but this is misleading.
Furthermore, I believe fighting for pro-life is the right thing to do, but it is only half the battle. We need to not only fight for pro-life, but fight for the children who are growing up fatherless.
I believe every Christian should be fighting for the fatherless on one of three levels:
- Prayer and financial support of missionaries and caregivers to orphans
- Protecting children against evils like the slave trade, sex industry, homelessness, starvation, disease, abortion, etc.
- Fostering or Adopting children
Please, do not mistake my insistence for this cause as me judging you if you are not currently involved with orphans. If you do not feel like God is calling you to this area, please at least consider donating and praying for organizations that are called to help the fatherless. God puts different desires on Christians, as there are many evils to fight in this world. Even if you are financially, emotionally, and physically able to care for children, it’s possible that this is not the right point in your life to do so. I would ask that you pray about it and seek God in all that you do.
Let’s talk about American Christians, shall we?
- Out of a Gallop survey of 326,000 Americans over the age of 18, over 77% of them identified as Christian (Gallop survey statistics).
- There are roughly 300,000,000 Americans alive at any given time (check the U.S. government’s census clock).
- If 70% of Americans identify as Christian, and we assume we have 300,000,000 Americans alive at any time — that means we have 210,000,000 Christians in the U.S. alone.
- The average life expectancy for an American is 77. Let’s say adults between 26-50 are the best candidates for taking in children (that removes half of Christian Americans). Remove a portion of those people for financial, health, or marital status reasons — let’s remove a generous 50%.
- So now we’re down to 1/4 of 210,000,000 Christians who are presumably physically, mentally, and fiscally able to care for a young child and are between the ages of 26-50.
- That leaves 52,500,000 Christians who are reasonably able to care for a child, not to mention non-Christians who are just as capable of loving and caring for a child.
Statistics below from Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute
- There are only 400,540 children in America without permanent families in the foster care system. 115,000 of these children are eligible for adoption, but nearly 40% of these children will wait over three years in foster care before being adopted.
- Each year in America 27,000 youths age out of the foster care system. Many end up homeless and on the streets, and may eventually end up pregnant or in gangs.
- Around the world, there are an estimated 153,000,000 orphans living in orphanages or on the streets.
- In 2011, U.S. families adopted 9,000 children from around the world.
52,500,000 Christians….400,540 orphans…
If God has laid this on your heart, What are you waiting for?
My vision is that it will be normal and standard for families to consider adopting a child (of any age, country, ethnicity, or gender), even if that family has biological children of their own. My desire is for the rate of adoption and reliable foster care to increase so quickly and reliably that long term foster care and orphanages are considered a thing from the past. My earnest hope is that mothers who do not want their unborn children will primarily turn to organizations that can help them immediately place the child in a safe, healthy, and loving home. We can only do that if we band together and fight for this cause.
Are you with me?
You read the all-to-common stories of foster care abuses. Well, when we as Christians don’t step up to fill this void and need then we leave room for others with selfish pursuits to take and twist a well-meaning program into a system that warps and breaks our youth. They then grow up with so much brokenness inside and never experience true sacrificial love which family gives. They have no one to love them, to challenge them in a positive way, no one to give them an outlet. The CCAI said 70% of foster children express the desire to attend college. The reality is that only 6% achieve that goal, and 1/4 of them never even finish high school!!! Imagine the instantaneous impact our love and investment in these children would have on our society: poverty, crime, education, etc. 400,000 is only the number of those that even make it into the system. There are thousands more on the streets avoiding the broken system and in broken homes that need our love as well. You want to have a lasting impact on our society? I think this is where we start, this is where we can break the cycle. Mentoring, fostering, adopting, serving, whatever our level of ability–but first and above all, loving them.
Romans 5:8 “And this is how we know that God loved us: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Perfect love = sacrifice.