Meeting Needs Through Adoption PDF Print E-mail

1.6 million babies are aborted each year in our country, and the number of children born without fathers has reached 30%. How can churches make adoption a more common choice for women in unplanned pregnancies ? Some churches become a meeting place for mentoring programs, where older birth moms can present the realities of making an adoption plan to younger pregnant women. Church members can also offer career counseling, tutoring, and material support.

Church families involve themselves in supporting the life-giving option of adoption by becoming shepherding homes.

Shepherding homes are usually families who invite a young woman in a crisis pregnancy to live with them during pregnancy and the birth of the baby. This provides a young woman with a mother and father role model, and is also a good way to build partnerships with local agencies and pregnancy centers. Pastors play a key role in providing counseling during this time of decision making.


Older Children Wait

Teenagers make up 16% of those waiting to be adopted, while only 8% of those adopted are teens. More than 600,000 American children will spend all or part of this year in substitute care such as foster homes, group homes, or shelters (50,000 of them are free to be adopted). Many of these children have experienced abuse or neglect, or have biological parents who cannot adequately care for them.

Churches play a key role in promoting the adoption of older and minority children. One example is the Celebration Youth Choir, a group of 15-20 youngsters in Cleveland, Ohio who travel to area churches. The singers, ages 10-14, all await adoption. The choir performs with the other youth choirs at the churches they visit. The director of the program says this serves a purpose: "It says, 'Look. They're all kids, they all need love, they all need families. And up there, singing next to each other, they are all the same.'"

The Presbyterian Church (USA) supports children's homes that often serve and care for teens who are available for adoption.

The Preparation for Adoption Program at the Grandfather Home in Banner Elk, North Carolina focuses on increasing successful adoptions through intensive counseling for the teens and their new families. One representative of the program says: "I feel that God has moved in this place. He is giving us this program. Instead of housing children, we are now helping to make children what they were created to be: members of a family."

Church families could consider teenagers who are about to reach the age of ineligibility for adoption, providing them with a permanent family they might not otherwise have. The consideration of adopting an older child can include sibling groups. A family who adopted five older siblings at the same time, found great emotional and material support from their church.

The need for families for older children doesn't necessarily stop at our borders. Literally thousands of older children overseas wait for a family to adopt them. Many families who would consider adding to their family through international adoption discount the idea after discovering the cost. Some churches have found ways to help families in their congregation afford this kind of adoption. One church sponsored a clothing drive for a family who adopted a large sibling group internationally, helping to ease the initial financial outlay.

Churches also forge partnerships with orphanages and Christians in particular countries to facilitate adoptions. One Presbyterian church in Oklahoma is supporting a Russian orphanage the same size as their congregation, sending medical supplies and other material support to the children there.

Please see our resource: "Four Families Talk about Interracial Adoption"


This bulletin insert is the third in a four-part series made available to churches by Presbyterians Pro-Life. Presbyterians Pro-Life seeks to equip and encourage the local church to support adoption. Churches can play a role in adoption by encouraging young women in crisis pregnancies to consider adoption, providing resources to couples who desire to build or grow their family through adoption, and helping children here and abroad who wait for permanent families. We publish written materials on adoption and network with pastors and lay people interested in adoption issues.

The series of bulletin inserts is available to churches in copy-ready format. Contact PPL.

To Bulletin Insert 1, 2, 4

 

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