In this day and age, adoption seems to have fallen off the proverbial table. In a conversation with a struggling young expectant mother, abortion is far more likely to be suggested as an option than adoption. In fact, during arguments for the Dobbs case in June of 2022, those arguing for Roe V. Wade touted abortion as the loving option and adoption as cruel. But is this the case?
Life Versus Death
Pro-choicers claim that adoption is unloving because a mother forms a bond with her baby, then adoption takes the child away and often the mother never sees him or her again. They even called it an ‘unnatural act’, which is rather unsettling given that they are advocating abortion as a better alternative. If it’s unnatural to give up a child for adoption, it’s infinitely more unnatural to kill the child so they don’t have to deal with the consequences.
These arguments for abortion are so focused on one side and one side only; that of the mother. But the mother isn’t the only person in this decision. She wouldn’t be a prospective mother if it weren’t for the baby she was carrying. No matter how hard one tries to redefine the terms, abortion kills a baby. The goal is to end the life inside of the mother, often rather brutally. Live Action has a page that shows the ways abortions are done, and it’s heart wrenching. Depending on how old the baby is, the child is either ripped apart limb by limb, poisoned into having a heart attack, or something else. Abortion begins with two people in the equation and ends with one. Or, sometimes none. Abortions can be very, very dangerous for the women undergoing them.
Adoption, on the other hand, begins with two people and the threads of their lives continue on, often blessing the others they come into contact with. This couple (usually) has waited years to adopt a child due to a baby shortage. They are ecstatic when a child is placed with them so they love and care for him or her. As an added blessing, a mother who places her child with this coulple to give him or her a better life can remain in contact through what is called an open adoption, allowing her to be a part of her son’s or daughter’s life. According to a post by the Family Research Council, “[adopted] children, their biological mothers, and their adoptive families all benefit from and feel their lives are enriched by the experience.” Women who get an abortion, however, often suffer serious emotional trauma and mental health problems for a long time afterwards. It is in no way loving or better for a woman to get an abortion rather than opt for adoption.
A Picture of Grace
The Bible actually talks about adoption, relating it to what Christ has done for us. Romans 8:14-17 says “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”
Ephesians 1:5 says, “…he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,” and in Galatians 4:5-7 we read “…to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”
Adoption is a symbol of our salvation, just as marriage is a symbol of Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:32). It’s a picture of what happens when we confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9). It’s a picture of how we’ve gone from death to life, becoming part of the family of God, paid for by Christ’s death on the cross. As believers, knowing this makes sense as to why abortion advocates sweep adoption under the table – it’s a picture of salvation. Just as those made in the image of God are attacked, and the symbol of Christ and the church is attacked, adoption will be swept under the table in favor of abortion – “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood… (Ephesians 6:12),” and Satan seeks to destroy all that is good.
November is national adoption month. As Christians, I believe it’s important that we help in some way – be it actually adopting, encouraging a mother to pursue adoption instead of abortion, or gathering around a family who adopts/fosters and helping them. Adoption is a picture of grace, and it’s time we get it back on the table.