What happens after the sermon on adoption ends?
Even if families are moved to consider adopting a child, they face countless questions and likely doubts—even fears. I know we did. And that’s why building a culture of adoption can—and should—be central to the church after Roe.
Of course, being pro-life through adoption is easy to say but hard to do. To many, it’s not obvious how to make it happen. But creating an adoption-positive and adoption-friendly environment in your church is the beginning and can start with practical steps, ones within the reach of any church community or member.
Take one of the most obvious hurdles any adoptive family must overcome as an example: namely, the cost. It seems high because most of the expenses of an adoption cover the employment of the men and women who work tirelessly to ensure the safety of the children in need of adoption, at every stage of the process.
But, cost should never stop anyone from adopting. There are countless ways to defray that cost: tax credits at the state and federal levels, grants, community resource-sharing programs and private low- or no-interest loans. Lifeline Children’s Services, where I work, provides all of its hopeful adoptive parents with an ebook outlining these resources so they don’t feel overwhelmed.
In short, the cost is only intimidating because would-be adoptive parents have nobody guiding them to the people and resources they need to help them overcome it. This is a perfect place for churches to develop ministry.
The other most obvious hurdle adoptive parents face is all of the unknowns. The church should be the first place people go to get their questions answered.
In the church, would-be adoptive parents will be held by a community full of people who seek God’s will and will help them follow Him. Fellow church members can walk alongside them through the entire process, from beginning to end—but these companions must be equipped properly and encouraged in their work.
So, educate leaders in your church. Encourage curiosity about adoption in anyone who might have questions. Develop safe spaces for church members to ask the difficult questions they’ll face before, during, and long after adoption. Develop a network of friends, allies, and mentors for adoptive families and their children. Get men and women who aren’t interested in adoption involved in the countless ministry opportunities to support those families who are.
An adoption culture involves your whole church, not just a few members. It’s more than a sermon, more than an annual event or a cloistered project driven by a family or two. It is our inheritance as Christians: First and foremost, we have been adopted into the family of God.
If we succeed in building a culture of adoption, we all will flourish: our churches, our families, our children, their children, their friends and all we might encounter along the path we walk as we follow Christ.
He has done the work to provide for us to be adopted as sons and daughters into the family of God, and our mission is to extend His love to all who we are given the chance to serve. Adoption culture is at the heart of our Christian faith, and could be the center of every church. Let’s make it so.