Home Christian News Newell: Church, Government Can Help Amid Adoption Decline

Newell: Church, Government Can Help Amid Adoption Decline

Christian care for orphans and vulnerable children overseas, Newell said, should include:

  • Prayer to the God who “is a Father to the fatherless” and “a protector of the orphans,” he said. “We need to pray that the Lord would give us a fresh and unique perspective of how that we can really care and get engaged.”
  • Humility as followers of Christ return to international mission trips as the pandemic wanes. “[W]e can’t have this Western mindset that it’s only the Western church that can do missions, but instead we need to link arms with our brothers and sisters and do missions together,” he said. “And as we go, we need to take notice of the vulnerable children and the vulnerable families.”
  • Adoption of children who don’t have families. Christians don’t need “to be adopting kids because their families are impoverished. We need to be adopting kids because they have no other options,” Newell said. The American church should partner with local churches overseas to restore systems so children can flourish in their families, he said.

Domestically, family strengthening and restoration should be goals for the church, but followers of Jesus also need to adopt children out of foster care, Newell said. More than 400,000 children are in foster care in the United States, although many are not eligible for adoption.

“What I would want to tell the church is, as pro-life as we are, those kids in U.S. foster care have parents that chose life for them,” said Newell, who has spoken at multiple Evangelical for Life conferences cohosted by the ERLC. “And so as the church, if we’re really going to be pro-life, we’ve got to care for those kids that are born that are languishing in foster care.”

Lifeline’s domestic work by its offices in 16 states includes pregnancy counseling, adoption and family restoration.

In its advocacy for child-welfare policies, the ERLC is supporting congressional passage of the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act and the Adoptee Citizenship Act. The former would bar government discrimination against adoption agencies and other child-welfare organizations that refuse to take part in serving in a way that contradicts their beliefs. The latter closes a loophole in a two-decade-old law by enabling a child born overseas and adopted by an American citizen to acquire citizenship upon passing specific requirements regardless of when the adoption was completed.

This article originally appeared here.

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Tom Strode is the Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press.