Many of us Christians consider ourselves to be 100% pro-life. We affirm that every human possesses the image of God from the moment of conception, a reality that makes abortion unthinkable in any circumstance. However, being 100% pro-life requires more than our opposition to surgical and chemical abortion. Convincing a pregnant mother to bear her child instead of opting to abort is not the end of being pro-life. Being 100% pro-life means striving to protect the innocent inside and outside of the womb. It means following through, nurturing life from conception to natural death.
Reason 1: Adoption is pro-life
If “following through” is pro-life, then adoption must be a way to do so. As pro-lifers, we weep that countless millions of unborn children have perished through the scourge of abortion. There is no question that this epidemic must be stopped. A vital part of that effort is the pro-life work done by volunteers and counselors who tirelessly minister to women on streets and sidewalks outside abortion clinics. Each day of activism brings sadness over the women who would not hear, yet simultaneous joy over the unborn children who were rescued from slaughter.
So, as Christian pro-lifers, what are we to do with the children that mothers bear, but ultimately don’t keep? The answer is obvious: adoption. Adoption must become a greater priority in the Church of Jesus Christ for two reasons: it is a concept deeply rooted in Christian theology and it is a unique evangelism opportunity. How many children are languishing in orphanages around the world, waiting on someone to rescue them? Many of these orphans will die for lack of physical and emotional care.
Reason 2: Adoption is not only pro-life, it is deeply Christian
Earthly adoption is a stirring reflection of God’s plan of salvation through His Son, Jesus. When the sinless Christ shed His blood for the sins of many, we were not only declared righteous by God, we were adopted as His children, though we deserved only Hell (Hebrews 9:28; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 1:4-5; Romans 6:23). If we do not even deserve justification by God, how much less are we deserving of membership in the family of God?! We would undoubtedly view God as surprisingly compassionate if He had “merely” declared us righteous and allowed us to spend eternity with Him. How unsearchably great is the depth of His love and mercy that affords both justification and adoption!
As the Apostle James told us, true Christianity is caring for the widows and orphans in their distress (James 1:27). Christ proclaimed that our active concern for the “least of these” was the same as caring for Him (Matthew 25:40). Children, whether they are helpless new zygotes or lonely young orphans, truly are the “least of these.” They must be cared for and protected by those in Christ’s Church.
Reason 3: Adoption is not only deeply Christian, it is poignantly evangelistic
When Christians adopt a child, they are illustrating the Gospel in two important ways: Adoption is an act of evangelism both to the child and to the unbelieving world.
First, when a Christian husband and wife adopt an orphan, they introduce that child to another great metaphor in the New Testament: the selfless love between a husband and wife as an earthly picture of the wonderful bond between Christ and the Church. Sadly, orphans do not see this vital metaphor in an orphanage, but they can see it in the Christian home.
Secondly, through adoption, Christian parents testify to the world a shade of the love that compelled God to sacrifice His only Son so that those who believe on His name could be adopted as sons and daughters. How beautiful it is for adoptive parents to show love to those children the world deems “unlovable.” Through adoption, we Christians gain a unique opportunity to reflect God’s adoptive love for us while we were yet marred by depravity and altogether unlovable (Rom. 5:8).
Christian, how do you view adoption? Have you ever considered it? If your circumstances are preventing you from adopting, have you sought to help those who can? Are you praying for God to raise up Christian adoptive families for the little ones around the world who have no father and mother?
May God help us to view earthly adoption as a spiritual act of gratitude for our own adoption into the family of God. As sinners, we had no hope. While we were still enemies of God, Christ died for us! And although we can never repay the boundless, sacrificial love of God that provided for our adoption as His sons and daughters, we can seek to exhibit a trace of that selfless love by loving orphans just as He first loved us.
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.