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Monday, September 9, 2013

The Religion Behind Adoption

The most prominent case of "Baby Veronica" had captured the media's attention. Why are there people trying to adopt a 4 year old girl who has already bonded with her biological father, sister and grandparents? Why are there people who support her being taken away from her family and given to non-relatives? The simple answer is religion and public views surrounding adoption.

In the 2000's the argument that there are millions of orphans in the world, and that Christians are called by God to care for them came from Evangelical leaders like Rick Warren. This offered a way for anti-abortion advocates to demonstrate they cared about children outside the womb as well. Adoption was considered a uniquely a Christian calling. Adoption theology described the earthly institution of child adoption as part of Christians' own salvation experience, just as God had adopted them.

The overseas adoption market picked up to meet the dropping supply of domestic infants. With 30-40,000 dollars at stake there was much corruption and children were being kidnapped from their families and sold. Countries starting closing or suspending overseas adoptions. To counter this, conservative religious groups like the Family Research Council and crisis pregnancy centers have sought to turn those numbers around by encouraging more women to relinquish. Money has been spent to change adoption language to paint birth mothers as saint-like and unselfish. The US adoption waiting list no longer includes just infertile couples. It includes people who already have biological children of both genders and who want to adopt for adoption's sake.

For adopted children having to grow up in a religious home there has always been conflict. If pre- marital sex is a sin, then wouldn't our birth parents go to Hell? No, because they made a selfish decision to relinquish and if they accepted the Lord they will go to heaven. Ok. So if I murder and rape a women, but then accept the Lord as my personal savior I will be able to go to heaven and see her?

A God who would be content with allowing people to suffer for eternity doesn't seem like a loving and forgiving God. And how could you be happy in heaven knowing your loved ones and suffering in hell? The knowledge of those who are sent to Hell must be hidden from those in heaven. It wouldn't surprise me as the Judeo-Christian God of the bible seems to be good at keeping things from us.

Then there is theory of "Gods Plan". It was my destiny to be with my adoptive parents. So my birth mother was meant to sin? If that was true then her free will was annihilated and she was created already doomed if she doesn't repent. The reason why God doesn't intervene in Earthly suffering is supposed to be man's free will. Why would God's plan not involve just having me born to my adoptive parents? When these things can't be explained, they attribute them to "mysterious ways" and give them no further thought as it is beyond our earthly understanding.

Adoptees are constantly reminded that they were "saved" from an abortion. If it were part of God's plan then abortion was never an option as my birthmother's free will was annihilated in order to create me for my infertile parents. The paradox doesn't make sense. An easier explanation would be that some young women have sex and some get pregnant. Some have abortions, some keep their babies and others relinquish them to adoption. Of those who do give their children away, some have unselfish reasons such as the young poor woman in Vietnam who truly believes her child will have a better life and maybe sponsor the rest of her family to come to the US someday. Some simply do not want to parent. This is true of mothers who already do not have custody of their current children. If you looked at the teachings of Jesus in the bible, He would want people to help young poor women care for their own babies.

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