"…you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, "Abba, Father!" it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God."
This church resource packet is designed to raise awareness of the adoption option among church members and especially among young women making pregnancy decisions.
Adoption is rarely chosen by teens, but there is no shortage of waiting couples. Approximately 11 percent of the teen population becomes pregnant annually. About 40 percent of those pregnancies end in abortion. Of the remaining live births, 97 percent of unwed teens choose single parenthood and only three percent choose adoption.
Conversely, there is no shortage of waiting couples. The National Council for Adoption reports well over two million childless couples in the United States seeking to adopt. Beyond that figure many parents of biological children or with previous children of adoption are seeking to increase their families further through adoption.
The church has a message of hope and of help
We believe the Church's message of fidelity in marriage and chastity in singleness is an important strategy for blessing in the lives of teenagers. However, once a pregnancy has occurred in a sexually active unmarried teen the Church has an important role to play in the restorative process, and in helping teens make decision that consider their responsibilities for the long term well being of the child. Marriage is a godly option that ought to be discussed and considered carefully, particularly if the teen decides to raise the child herself.
Adoption is an option that has received little attention in the unwed teen pregnancy decision-making process. Churches can make a difference in the spiritual and physical lives of young people by highlighting the blessing of adoption.
Quietly putting adoption on the "crisis radar screen"
Adoption has been such a silent alternative that often teens and their families do not even think about it in the crisis of a pregnancy. But research has shown that if adoption is simply mentioned as an alternative, the number of times it is chosen increases dramatically. Research has also shown that the earlier in pregnancy that adoption is mentioned, the more likely it is to be the option chosen.
God gives us LIFE through adoption! is designed to highlight the blessing of adoption and express your church's support for families built through adoption. It is designed to encourage adoption decisions by being an ever present positive message in your church, undergirded with tangible support for adoption decisions.
The adoption packet represents your church's offer of help
The components of this packet are the first part of a program intended to increase a church's involvement in adoption. The packet contains three parts:
- A poster which can be set up for display in a prominent place in your church
- A pamphlet listing national resources for adoption. The pamphlet is designed so that you can add local resources on adoption in your own community.
- A booklet designed for teenage girls - You can use it in your church, in your youth program, in a local high school or other places where teens gather in your community. It is a simple pledge, addressed very personally to young women, of your church's willingness to help in this crisis. The help you offer may range from help available from the church itself to referrals to agencies in your community or even nationally. A local crisis pregnancy center may be an excellent contact for help that extends the church's ministry in this area.
Each of these components is available in whatever quantity you desire. Please let us know if there is any way we can support your efforts to provide the life-giving option of adoption to those in your church and community.
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