A recent post by Meagan Hill on the Her.meneutics blog at Christianity Today has prompted a new round of adoption debates in the Christian adoption blogosphere.

Hill’s post – Adopting a Kid, Not a Cause, cautions Christians and the church from engaging in adoption as a cause or movement and that it should be more rightly motivated by a desire for children.  I think I can understand Hill’s motivation for the post – we as Evangelicals have a track record for jumping on a cause and then getting distracted and moving on to something else.  Hill’s post can serve as a good reminder that we need to have right motivations when adopting.

However, I think she’s setting up a false dichotomy to make her point. As she expressed in her post, she adopted from a desire to have more children not engage in a grander mission.  That’s why my wife and I adopted.  I daresay that’s why almost all couples adopt.  But as Christians, even though we are adopting because we love children, we are still engaging in a missional activity.

I think Hill is rightly reminding us that when we adopt, it should be because God has given us a love and desire to parent a child who has no parents, not to primarily engage in a cause.  Where I have to part company with her is the insinuation (either intentional or unintentional) that leaders in Christian adoption circles are saying something different.

This issue, as many are, is a both/and. Do we adopt because we love children? Yes.  Are we engaging in a missional activity when we do? Yes.

Better and fuller discussions of this can be found at Together for Adoption and at Rick Morton Online.  I’ve been pleased with the thoughtful and gracious tone of the entire conversation and hope it will be constructive for everyone.

Also, if you read the comments on Meagan Hill’s post, don’t let those taint your reading of her words, Her.meneutics has a lot of wackadoo readers a wide readership.

One Response to Recent Adoption Discussion

  1. I question how one could ever part the two. While I understand her concerns that we not forget the actual children at the center of adoption I cannot separate the adoptions from the broader cause of caring for the orphans. Furthermore there is also the aspect that while not all will adopt a child they can all be involved in the cause/mission of helping the fatherless. Churches should be taking up that cause. Understanding that this is a cause that cannot be dropped or a phase the church is going through.
    Going through adoption right now I can say personally that I highly doubt anyone would go through all the trials, the hoops, the red tape of adoptions if they did not also have a deep love for children and want to add to their family.

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