The New York Times recently ran an article entitled “Eager to Adopt, Evangelicals Find Children, and Pitfalls, Abroad.” These pitfalls include local corruption and poor communication to the birth families about the terms of the adoption, among other things. The international adoption process, moreover, is notoriously expensive, laborious, and emotionally draining. In light of these difficulties, it might seem that the safe course of action would be to adopt domestically or even to forego adopting altogether. Yet evangelicals continue on to adopt domestically and internationally at very high rates.
Why? They do so largely as the practical outworking of the Christian imperative to love in a manner that mirrors God’s love. Adoption, like childbearing, is the gift of the self to a new life. It offers the child inclusion and acceptance into a family who demonstrate their self-sacrificial love through the difficult process of adoption. Adoption thus epitomizes Christ’s call to love our neighbor – even the stranger whom we have never met – as ourselves: adoptive parents share their table, their finances, and indeed their own homes and lives with a complete stranger. Christians do not believe that the value of a life is contingent upon how desired that life is by another, but even if we did, there would be no question that adopted children are desired children.