The Evangelical Adoption Crusade

Posted: May 5, 2011 in adoption, america, current events, evangelicalism, family, poor

Kathryn Joyce, writing for The Nation, recently posted an interesting article on evangelical Christians’ growing zeal for adoption.  In “The Evangelical Adoption Crusade,” Joyce notes the startling growth of evangelical activism related to adoption over the past few years:

Russell Moore

Adoption has long been the province of religious and secular agencies, but in the past two years evangelical advocacy has skyrocketed. In 2009 Russell Moore, dean of the School of Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and author of the 2009 book Adopted for Life, shepherded through a Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) resolution calling on all 16 million members of the denomination to become involved in adoption or “orphan care.” Last year at least five evangelical adoption conferences were held, and between 1,000 and 2,000 churches participated in an “Orphan Sunday” event in November. And in February, the mammoth evangelical adoption agency Bethany Christian Services announced that its adoption placements had increased 13 percent since 2009, in large part because of the mobilization of churches.

Referring specifically to the Together for Adoption Conference, Joyce writes,

The event was the first of the organization’s new “house conferences”: small-scale meet-ups bolstering an active national movement that promotes Christians’ adopting as a way to address a worldwide “orphan crisis” they say encompasses hundreds of millions of children. It’s a message Cruver also emphasizes in his book Reclaiming Adoption—one in a growing list of titles about “orphan theology,” which teaches that adoption mirrors Christian salvation, plays an essential role in antiabortion politics and is a means of fulfilling the Great Commission, the biblical mandate that Christians spread the gospel.

While the article generally portrays evangelical adoption efforts in a distinctly negative light, it nevertheless highlights some of the important issues that Christians should be aware of, especially those considering adoption.  Specifically, Joyce cites a number of bad examples of Christians who have pursued adoption in the wrong way, and we should be the first to decry and reject those who advocate breaking the law for the “greater good” (see the recent case involving Laura Silsby).

The critical tone notwithstanding, it’s an interesting article that is worth the read.


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