Christianity is a love-centered faith, and adoption is love you so often see in Christian families. In fact, around five percent of practicing Christians in the United States have adopted, and, according to Deanna Kahler, a survey showed that 38 percent of practicing Christians had seriously considered adoption. For practicing Christians, seeking out an adoption agency that has the same values and morals is important. One type of adoption agency that is sought out by Christian families is Christian adoption agencies. Let’s begin by looking at the definition or description of Christian adoption agencies.
What Is a Christian Adoption Agency?
Before defining what a Christian adoption agency is, let’s define the term adoption agency. An adoption agency serves as the “middleman.” In her article, “What Does An Adoption Agency Do”, Lita Jordan describes an adoption agency as “organized to facilitate adoptions.” A Christian adoption agency can then be defined as an adoption agency that operates based on the Christian faith and Christian values to facilitate adoption. Just like any other adoption agency, a Christian adoption agency serves both expectant mothers and prospective adoptive families. A Christian adoption agency serves expectant mothers in various ways including providing information regarding options, walking you through placing your baby for adoption, helping you find a family, and praying with you. A Christian adoption agency also serves prospective adoptive families in various ways including conducting a home study, building an adoption profile, negotiating expenses, filling out paperwork, and walking you through the legal proceedings. A Christian adoption agency is just like any other agency. They still have to follow the same local, state, federal, and court regulations. They have the same pool from which they find children to be adopted. There are a few things that are different about Christian adoption agencies. In his article about Christian adoption agencies, Derek Williams writes that a big difference between Christian adoption agencies and other agencies is that their view of marriage is between a man and a woman. He continues that many Christian adoption agencies only accept applications from married couples. Another big difference is that the social workers employed by the agency are Christians. What I love about this is that Christian social workers believe in the power of prayer. They will spend time praying with you, praying for you, and will support you spiritually. Christian adoption agencies may also require items that other agencies don’t. These may include a pastoral reference and a Christian testimony. As an expectant mom, you can be reassured to know that a Christian adoption agency values you, and they are there to empower you. Like I mentioned before, they will help you to choose the right path for you and your baby. Not only will they be there for you throughout your pregnancy, but they will also continue to support you after the birth of your child, even if you chose not to place your child.
What Christians Believe About Adoption
So what do Christians believe about adoption? Well, according to the website Got Questions, Christians believe that we become a part of God’s family through the act of adoption. Once we choose to accept Jesus into our hearts and believe in Him for our salvation, God says we become a part of His family. Just like we choose to adopt out of love and sacrifice, God chose us by sending His son to die on the cross for our sins. God wants us to be a part of His family because He loves us. He created us. Adoption is found throughout the Bible. It is first found in the book of Exodus when the pharaoh’s daughter found Moses in the river and adopted him into the royal family. Moses eventually grew up to become a servant of God. Adoption can also be found in the book of Esther. When Esther was younger, her parents died, leaving her an orphan, but her cousin Mordecai adopted her and raised her as his own child. Esther was a beautiful girl who grew up to become a queen and brought deliverance to the Jewish people. These are just two small, powerful stories of adoption found in the Bible but the ultimate story is Christ’s story. Christ’s birth is referred to as the Virgin birth because His mother Mary was not married when she conceived Him though she was engaged to Joseph. Christ was conceived through the Holy Spirit. When Mary gave birth, Joseph named Him Jesus and he took Mary as his wife and Jesus as his son to raise. According to Meghan Rivard, through this story of adoption, “God establishes the honor of raising a child that is not biologically related to his or her parents.” God wants us to adopt, and Christians believe that God wants them to take care of the orphans. In Deuteronomy 14:28-29, God gave clear instructions that His people were to take care of the orphans as found throughout the scriptures. Many Christians choose to care for the orphans through foster care or adoption, but there are other ways Christians can care for orphans. You can find ways to support orphans by visiting the Haven of Hope website or visiting your local Christian adoption agency.
Choosing a Christian Adoption Agency
Are you considering a Christian adoption agency to help you with your adoption and you are wondering how to find one that is right for you? There are so many to choose from which makes it so hard to find the right one. Here are a few tips to help you find the right one.
- Pray: If you are a Christian, you believe in the power of prayer. In the midst of choosing an agency, you need to pray about it. Pray for God to give you the wisdom to choose the right one. If God is calling you to adopt, then He will open the right doors for you and your adoption journey.
- Do your research: Don’t just settle on the first agency that pops up in your Google search. Do your research to find out what services are offered. Read through their website and talk to other families that have used the agency. Look at several different agencies and make a list of pros and cons for each.
- Choose the one that fits your needs: Decide on what type of adoption you are interested in. Are you interested in domestic adoption, or are you interested in international adoption? If you choose to pursue a domestic adoption, you need to decide whether you would like to have an open adoption or closed adoption. Choose the agency that specializes in the types of adoption you are considering. Also, consider what you need from an adoption agency. Services that may be offered include matching services, financial protection, contact mediation, legal services, screening services, counseling, and education. Research the services offered and make a list of what you need in an adoption agency.
- Consider Your Budget: Adoption can be expensive. If you choose a private adoption agency, expenses will most likely include providing for the birth mother, paying for legal services, and fees for the home study and application. Some agencies will be more expensive than others. Don’t just settle on the least expensive option.
- Choose an agency in line with your values: What do you value? Do you value the life of the child and the birth mother? Do you value a strong support team? Consider your values when choosing your agency.
As you are considering which agency to choose, consider what is right for you and your adoption journey. Ask yourself: Do I feel comfortable with what the agency believes? Take a look at each agency’s mission statement and values. If something doesn’t feel right, then don’t go with that agency.
Christian Adoption Stories
A Miracle Baby for the Hembree Family
On May 5th, 2018, Nora Grey was born 30 miles away from her forever family. On that day, the Hembrees were just going about their normal daily routines, not knowing that they had a baby waiting for them. They had been waiting for a baby that they could raise as their own for a year. They finally received their call from Rebekah, their social worker from Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia, on May 8th. Nora Grey Hembree joined the Hembree family officially on May 17, 2018. The Hembree family chose to work with Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia because they accept anyone who identifies as a Christian. Upon application, the Hembrees had to submit a statement of faith and a reference letter from a pastor. This adoption agency was a great choice for the couple because of the free resources they provided for the birth mother. Catholic Charities provides assistance with rent, counseling before and after the birth, clothes, and toiletries. The Hembrees state that the agency even prayed a specific prayer over Nora on the day of the adoption finalization and gave them a blanket made by the mom of the director of the organization. The agency also provides post-adoption services that include gatherings and educational classes. The Hembrees attend the Thanksgiving dinner each November. Throughout the process of adoption, the Hembrees also worked with a Christian consulting agency that provided Bible study and an opportunity to pray with others. The Hembrees appreciated the prayer support that they received throughout the process. Today, Nora Grey is 3 years old. She is very happy, and she is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her little sister.
From Tiny Baby Boy to Little Boy Caleb
In 2016, Virginia and Eric Spence were on vacation. In a spare moment of time, Virginia decided to check her emails. An email from Bethany Christian Services caught her attention. The email said that a birth mother had their profile among other profiles and that her baby was going to be born soon. Little did they know, the baby was born that night at 35 weeks and weighed a little over five pounds. This little five-pound baby could not regulate his own breathing and would not eat, so he was immediately moved to NICU where he would remain for a few weeks. A few days after he was born, the Spences were notified of his birth and that the birth mother had chosen them to be his parents. As soon as they could, they raced to the hospital where they met their social worker. Upon arrival, the Spences scrubbed their hands to enter the NICU. All they could see were little incubators, tiny beds, and wires everywhere. They were overwhelmed. Eric Spence met their son first. He was laying in an incubator with wires and tubes attached to him. His brain had not fully developed at the time he was born; therefore, he could not perform some essential functions that a human needs to survive. This lack of ability to do simple tasks sent his body into bradycardia and tachycardia when he tried to do those things. It was very scary for the Spences every time a bell went off to notify the nurses that he had stopped breathing. It would take some time for his brain to develop the memory processing center in order to do these things. Three and a half weeks later, little Caleb got to go home with his forever family. Today, Caleb is thriving. He can do everything his older brother does and has no medical complications from his early birth. Virginia says that Caleb is a very smart little boy. His dad has worked with him this past year, and Caleb is able to write his name, spell, and knows his alphabet. He will be entering kindergarten in the fall. Virginia says that Caleb captured their hearts from the moment they met him. Just like all children, Caleb is a precious miracle.Are you and your partner ready to start the adoption process? Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98 to begin your adoption journey. We have 130+ years of adoption experience and would love to help you.