Here is a rather inspiring story about the use of social media and lots of people stepping up to save a child with Down syndrome from being aborted. [Read more…]
Some states already require adoption and foster care agencies to give children to gay couples. That includes Christian ministries, which, in many cases are shutting down their operations rather than compromise their convictions. Now a proposed law before the Senate would make nondiscrimination against gay adoptions, including by religious agencies, a national policy:
Adoption and traditional marriage proponents said legislation introduced Monday by Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) to prohibit adoption agencies from barring homosexual couples from adopting a child would hinder religious agencies right to religious freedom and lessen the pool of foster families.
Gillibrand’s bill, Every Child Deserves a Family Act, enables states to require adoption agencies to allow lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples to foster or adopt children in order to receive federal assistance.
“By removing all barriers for LGBT families to serve as foster parents, New York State has increased its foster parent pool by 128,000 prospective parents. This legislation would open thousands of new foster and adoptive homes to children ensuring they are raised in loving families,” she said in statement announcing the bill.
Gillibrand and fellow bill supporters praise the act for seeking to place the estimated 400,000 children currently in the U.S. foster care system in homes.
But Peter Breen, executive director of the Thomas More Society Pro-life Law Center, told The Christian Post the law would lessen the pool of foster families because it would penalize faith-based agencies that recruit Christian families.
Breen is currently representing Catholic Charities of Illinois. The adoption agency has been caring for and placing children in homes since 1921 – long before the state began offering adoption services in 1969.
Breen said that Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is using the recently passed Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Unions Act to “exclude religious entities that object to civil unions.”
Catholic Charities does not allow cohabitating couples – both heterosexual and homosexual-to adopt through its service due its religious beliefs. The state’s decision to cancel contracts with Catholic Charities may cause the agency to close its door to foster care in the state.
Breen said most faith-based foster care groups are reliant on state and federal funds.
If Gillibrand’s law were to pass, Breen said, it would “effectively bar any religious group that [has] sincerely-held religious beliefs about the sanctity of marriage … it would bar them from foster care.”
Michael Gerson writes a moving column about international adoption:
Scott Simon — the sonorous voice of NPR’s “Weekend Edition” — has written a short, tender book about the two most important people in the world. At least to him. “Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other” recounts the arrival of his two daughters, Elise and Lina, from China, while telling the stories of other families changed by adoption.
Simon describes himself as skeptical of transcendence but as taking part in a miracle. “My wife and I,” he says, “knew that Elise and Lina were our babies from the moment we received their postage-stamp portraits. Logically, I know that’s not possible. But I also know that’s how my heart, mind and body . . . reacted to their pictures. . . . I would take the photo out of my wallet in the weeks before we left to get each of our girls and hold it against my lips to whisper, ‘We’re coming, baby.’ ”
It is an unexpected form of human affection — meeting an unrelated stranger and, within moments, being willing to care for her, even to die for her. The relationship results from a broken bond but creates ties as strong as genetics, stronger than race or tribe. It is a particularly generous kind of parental love that embraces a life one did not give.
International adoption has its critics, who allege a kind of imperialism that robs children of their identity. Simon responds, “We have adopted real, modern little girls, not mere vessels of a culture.” Ethnicity is an abstraction — often an admirable abstraction, but not comparable to the needs of a child living in an orphanage or begging in roving bands. Adopted Chinese girls are refugees from a terrible oppression — a one-child policy that Simon calls “one of the great crimes of history.” Every culture or race is outweighed when the life of a child is placed on the other side of the balance.
It is one of the noblest things about America that we care for children of other lands who have been cast aside. Simon recalls his encounter with an immigration officer in Chicago when bringing Elise to America: ” ‘When you cross that line,’ he said, ‘your little girl is a citizen of the United States.’ Then he put one of his huge hands gently under our daughter’s chin and smiled. ‘Welcome home, sweetheart,’ he told her.” This welcome to the world is one of the great achievements of history. After millennia of racial and ethnic conflict across the world, resulting in rivers of blood, America declared that bloodlines don’t matter, that dignity is found beneath every human disguise. There is no greater embrace of this principle than an American family that looks like the world.
Instead of undermining any culture, international adoption instructs our own. Unlike the thin, quarrelsome multiculturalism of the campus, multiethnic families demonstrate the power of affection over difference. They tend to produce people who may look different from the norm of their community but see themselves as just normal, just human.
Every adoption involves a strange providence, in which events and choices are random yet decisive. “Those of us who have been adopted,” says Simon, “or have adopted or want to adopt children, must believe in a world in which the tumblers of the universe can click in unfathomable ways that deliver strangers into our lives.”
Read the rest of it, including Gerson’s own personal story of the fruit of international adoption.
Go here to buy Simon’s book: Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other: In Praise of Adoption