By Kurt Bruner, The Center for Strong Families
There are families desiring children. There are children desiring families.
AND there are questions:
- How much does adoption cost? What financing options are available?
- Should we consider domestic or international adoption? Should we consider foster care adoption?
- Is open or closed adoption best for my family?
- Which adoption agency should we consider?
- Are there adoptive families I can talk to? Yes!
Exploring adoption means weighing the practical concerns in your head against the inexplicable tugging of your heart. With so many factors to consider, where do you start?
Step one: Adoption is God's design
God uses the term adoption to picture our new relationship with God through salvation. (Romans 8:15, Ephesians 1:5, Galatians 4:5) According to Romans 8:23, we were permanently placed into the Body of Christ through no effort of our own but we have full rights as His adopted children.
Step two: Reasons families consider adoption
Initially, medical reasons or other circumstances may direct a family toward adoption. However, adoption is God’s Plan A for adding children into the loving home for some families. They soon discover that God’s design is perfect and rejoice in His plan and His provision.
Motivated by a desire to “look after the orphans” as directed in James 1:27, some families choose adoption to welcome children into their home. For these families, adoptive children may be added to children already in the home through birth.
Additionally, families may choose adoption for of a friend/relative to provide a loving and nurturing choice for a displaced child.
Step three: Educate yourself
Many things about adoption have changed in the past few decades. New opportunities and new challenges have emerged and should be considered. Various churches and non-profit ministries have expanded their support for orphans and adoption in recent years and provide invaluable support for families considering adoption. National and international law, federal tax benefits, and financial assistance through grants are important topics to consider.
One of the best ways to increase your understanding of both the head and heart issues of adoption is to spend time with others who have adopted. You will hear and understand both the joys and challenges of each step along the adoption journey.
Bellevue has many families who have explored and chosen adoption. They are available to talk with you and share their experiences. Contact the Family Ministry office at (901) 347-5751.
Take advantage of learning from families who chose different adoption paths. For example, talk with parents who adopted a child of a different race, or an abused or neglected child, or an older child. You will benefit from receiving counsel because each adoption is as unique as your family.
Local adoption agencies
Life Choices loves the women in Memphis. Our counselors and professional medical staff are here to offer you safe and confidential services free of charge! LifeChoicesMemphis.org
Bethany offers adoption services for national and international adoption. They can guide you through the adoption process. Adoption is an exciting journey of love, and we will be with you all along the way. Learn more at bethany.org/memphis.