**Adoptive families are formed under a lot of different situations. Each is unique.
What our family believes about adoption:
Adoption always adds a person to your family — one who was not conceived by you, yet is given the same rights and privileges of a naturally-born child. Adoption makes him or her your child. Adoption is forever. Still, the original family also continues to be connected to the adoptee (and, now, to the adoptive family) too. The first parents are still the child’s real and forever family biologically but not legally. The adoptee, birth parents, and adoptive parents are linked from this point on. Even if there is a closed adoption, they are still connected forever.
Adoption can be beautiful and incredible, especially for children who need a family. Still, it is not without pain. Families considering adoption should know that there is no adoption without “loss.” Take time to speak to an adult adoptee and you’ll understand that s/he has experienced some type of loss.
We believe that, if possible, birth families should remain together. This is hard. This is messy. This is also why adoption through foster care can take a long time: Most judges (rightly) want to give birth families as much opportunity as possible to make necessary changes. (This is also why families who adopt internationally must ask a lot of questions! Do research. Is the orphanage or agency really doing all they can to keep children with living parents?)
It is not always best for families to remain together. Some homes are unsafe or unstable for kids. As foster parents, we see these situations too often. We absolutely never wish for a child to be removed from his/her home; yet, we know it may be the only option. When this happens, kinship and foster placements provide children with a safer, nurturing environment until birth families can be reunified or, if reunification is not possible, an adoptive match is made.
And, still, other parents are not ready to raise a child. Acknowledging this (and putting the needs of the child first) takes courage and selflessness. Parents decide to place their babies or children for adoption for many reasons. We do not believe a mother should be shamed into making an adoption plan; it should be her choice whether or not to parent. (But PLEASE relinquish your baby safely. In Ohio and other states, birth parents are protected under Safe Haven law.)
We have been blessed through getting to know many families (some who chose to parent and others who chose an adoption plan). We respect both. As an adoptive family, we try to honor our child’s original family in their lifebooks and when we talk about them; you can read more about us here.
The most important thing I learned from my adoption search is, if a parent can love more than one child, then a child can love more than one parent.
—Judith Land, author & adoptee
God is “a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows” (Psalm 68), and all Christians should “look after orphans and widows in their distress” (James 1). However, we do not believe that orphan care automatically leads to adoption! Too often, these verses are used to manipulate couples with financial resources into “saving poor kids.” Conversely, we believe adoption and foster care (or assisting in these efforts) are only two ways to obey this command to look after children who need strong, healthy families. And, we are careful to clarify that not every Christian should adopt.
Finally, as we understand a Christian’s spiritual adoption in Christ through the grace of God the Father, we were moved as a couple to extend our home and our hearts to children in foster care and adoption. However, we stress that a believer’s spiritual adoption is NOT the same as earthly adoption. “Vertical adoption is about us (God’s people) returning to the One who created us in the first place” (Shannon Dingle). Physical adoption is a poor comparison.
Considering Foster Care? Read our FAQs.
- Closure documentary
- The Whole Life Adoption Book by Jayne Schooler and Thomas Atwood
- All about Adoption by Marc Nemiroff and Jane Annunziata
- I’m Chocolate, You’re Vanilla by Marquerite Wright
- Motherbridge of Love children’s book (no longer in print but you can find used copies)
- The Lost Daughters blog (female adult adoptees reflecting on their journeys)