“At this point in our lives we were not planning to adopt but here we are with two more girls simply because we were obedient to God.” say some adopters.
I guess there are believers out there who will view this as a more than adequate reason to adopt children. Those who belong to Christian adoption ministries will receive their instructions and it seems that no-one in some ministries is an unsuitable adopter as long as they are prepared to save another adoptee’s soul for god. From knowledge of some adoptions of this type, it appears that the quality of adoptive parenting is not as vital as bringing the child to god, raising them in a ‘good christian household’, no matter how many other children share the parenting, the attention, the caring and the ‘love’ . We have read and heard many horror stories, some of them resulting in the abuse and death of adoptees after a short life of misery, deprivation and humiliating abuse. Some will say that it’s ‘only a few’ amongst the many thousands, million of adoptees in the world. There should be none! Particularly amongst people who have guidelines on how to live, strict rules and an idea of what happens to those who sin.
Peter Dodds paper here will add useful information – http://digitalcommons.providence.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1010&context=sbg
He writes – “Dan Cruver, a leader in the evangelical adoption movement, wrote in his 2012 book, Reclaiming Adoption, “The ultimate purpose of human adoption by Christians, is not to give orphans parents, as important as that is. It is to place them in a Christian home so they are positioned to receive the gospel” (15). Lifeline Children’s Services is a Christian international adoption agency whose 2014 Annual Report states that they’ve been called by God to adopt orphans into families where they can experience the love of Christ and be taught the Gospel. “
If practitioners of any other religions were to state something similar or to put into practise the ‘saving’ of children for the purpose of receiving the teachings of their ‘good book’ and not primarily to give them the best adoptive parents possible, if they were true orphans or in need of adoption, because their biological parents were dysfunctional or abusive the community, society, country or Government would be aghast and do everything possible to halt such activities, particularly when they have been shown to be harmful in so many instances. One of the most abusive activities I’ve ever seen was by a prominent leader in an evangelical movement, who uses or used, his adoptive son to advertise adoption and who exploits him shamelessly. Having no insight into the harm and damage done by activities such as this, must be one of the most dangerous positions for an adopter to be in and one of the most dangerous places for adoptees, something many of us have been exposed to and been abused by.
There are of course some very grey areas. There are groups who adopt only certain children, those with Down’s Syndrome for instance, from countries where they are doomed to remain in an orphanage because of the disablist attitudes of the population and the stigma of having a child with a disability. Is it better for these children to be given possible opportunities to have a family life or better for them to remain in their home country? It is hardly a question for those who care about the well-being of children and may wish to choose the better of two difficult situations. For some it seems adoption has no complexities or difficult questions. It is good or bad, beautiful or ugly, should be for all adults who want families or should never happen. If life were simple we would have no orphans, no unloved or unwanted children and all children would have the best possible parents. There would be no strings attached, no abuse, no deaths and no loss or trauma. We would not be expected to be grateful, to decide between our biological parents or our adoptive parents or asked the ridiculous and intrusive questions we are asked. Assumptions would not be made about our lives, our motives, our intentions or our state of mind. We would be free to tell our own stories without bullying, interference, instructions, assumptions, exploitation and we would know the truth and who to trust. Adoptees must be the largest minority group in the world with representatives from all other minority groups, all ages, all races, all countries and adopted mostly by those who benefit from white privilege. Surely there has been time enough to expect that we might now be treated with honesty, dignity and integrity?