Adoption: Not the only way

  • February 20, 2012
  • Blog

When we hear someone mention the words “orphan care”, I think many of us automatically think of adoption; physically adopting a child into our homes. Although, that is certainly one way we can graciously care for a fatherless child, it’s not the only way.

It seems that there is a myth within the church today that most adoptive families believe that ALL Christian families should adopt as well. I certainly can’t speak for every adoptive parent but for the most part, I do not believe that is the case at all. However, the purpose of this post is not to judge either side of that debate, but rather to debunk that myth for the sake of caring for orphans.

Let’s talk briefly about numbers. As I mentioned in my post last week, we don’t have an accurate count of orphans in the world but it is safe to say there are more than 150 million worldwide. There are reportedly over 2 billion Christians in the world today. I’m not sure how many Christian families make up that 2 billion but I’m quite certain it’s more than the number of orphans. Therefore, I believe it would be accurate to say, there are not enough orphans for EVERY Christian family to physically adopt. Furthermore, there is no such mandate in God’s Word. God is very clear that the orphan is very near and dear to His heart, but NO WHERE does He command every believer to parent one of them.

If you happen to be one who has avoided every conversation about orphan care because you feared someone would try to “guilt you into adopting”, I pray this post will help bring you freedom from that fear. Adoption is not a command for every believer!

For a moment, let’s also consider the other extreme end of the adoption spectrum. Regretfully, I once believed that adoption was what infertile couples did in order to become parents. That is a beautiful option but I now realize that God desires for couples with a physical quiver-full to prayerfully consider adopting children as well.

At this point, you may be feeling a bit confused. Let me try to explain myself. While we as believers are not all commanded to adopt, we are ALL commanded to care….. and some of us ARE commanded to care for an orphan by adopting him or her into our family and home. Adoption is not the “superior level” of orphan care reserved for the most righteous. I personally know many adoptive families that are graciously parenting children that were once fatherless and destitute. However, I also have the privilege of being friends with families who are currently caring for hundreds and even thousands of orphans each year with out ever bringing one of them home as a son or daughter. It’s not because any of these families chose what was best or most convenient for them. ALL of these families are simply being obedient to God by caring for orphans in the way that HE commanded them.

So what does this mean for you and for me? I believe that all God expects from us is to be willing and obedient.

“…And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)

First of all, we must be educated. We must KNOW what God’s Word says about our responsibility to the poor, the destitute, the orphan. We also must KNOW what our options are for caring for these children. We can then come before the Lord, armed with knowledge and truth, and ask Him to reveal HIS desires for our lives.

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves… being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.  -James 1:22; 25


If we ask God to give us a heart to love and care for orphans, the way He does….. I can promise, He WILL!


Dr. Russell Moore has written an article titled, ‘Don’t Adopt!’. You can read that post here:

Until there’s NO more,