I spent the last two posts talking about adoption because buyers “adopt” the Schaabling Shire Shoppe Amigurumi Pets. I briefly discussed the six instances of adoption in the Bible (Moses, the unnamed woman, Esther, Jesus, Timothy, and Christians). In two (Moses and the unnamed woman), the birthmother instigated the adoption because she had to in order to save the child’s life. In one (Esther), the child was adopted by a close relative because her parents had died. In all five stories except that of Esther, the mother ultimately raised the child with the assistance of the adoptive parent(s). Furthermore, in the book of Isaiah, when God talks about being a Father to the Israelites, He compares himself to a birthmother who forgets her child (Isa. 49:15). All of this gives the impression that no good woman would place her child with an adoptive family if she could help it.
On the other hand, the word God uses to describe His adoption of Christians is huiothesia, which means taking a stranger into your home, calling him/her your child, and imparting to him/her all the rights and responsibilities a child. Granted, the Christian makes the choice to enter into an adoptive relationship with God, but the fact remains that God likens His adoption of Christians to calling an unrelated person your child and giving that adopted child all of a biological child’s rights and responsibilities. Obviously, then, adopting a child is godly.
But what of placing your own child with an adoptive family? Like abortion, this particular topic is not directly addressed by the Bible, and so we must dig deeper into the basic Biblical precepts.
Love. God teaches us that love is the penultimate (Rom. 13:8-10, 1 or. 13:1-3); that we must love so completely that we will give completely of ourselves (John 15:13, Eph. 5:25, Rom. 5:8, John 3:16); and that true love involves action, not just emotion (1John 3:18).
Selflessness. God clearly teaches that we should put others ahead of ourselves (Php. 2:3-4; Gal. 5:14; 1Thess. 5:15; Prov. 17:13).
Love is Selflessness—or, as the Bible puts it (1Cor. 13:5), love “seeketh not her own” (KJV), “is not self-seeking” (NIV), “does not insist on its own way” (RSV).
There are myriad ill effects of single-parenting on children. For example:
“children who grow up with a single parent [either because of divorce or] because they were born out of wedlock are more likely than children living with continuously married parents to experience a variety of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral problems. Specifically, compared with children who grow up in stable, two-parent families, children born outside marriage reach adulthood with less education, earn less income, have lower occupational status, are more likely to be idle (that is, not employed and not in school), are more likely to have a nonmarital birth (among daughters), have more troubled marriages, experience higher rates of divorce, and report more symptoms of depression.”
Thus, not only is it the ultimate emotional sacrifice for a birthmother to place her child with an adoptive family, it is also, in many cases, the most selfless and loving thing she can do. After this research in Scripture and science, I stand by my firm belief that the birthmother’s sacrifice of placing her child with loving, adoptive parents is the larger, more selfless—and perhaps even more loving—sacrifice than the sacrifice of adoptive parents.
P.S. Please do not misunderstand me. This is not meant to diminish the incredible work of adoptive parents!