Guest / Limited Access /

Adoption is arguably one of the Christian social ministries most central to evangelical theology. It has—to a greater extent than church positions on issues such as abortion and marriage—avoided becoming entangled in politics. Until now.

A foster dad's court challenge to a Florida law banning adoption by gays and lesbians has made headlines in recent months. So has a proposed same-sex marriage law in the District of Columbia that the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington warned could force it to cancel its social service programs, including adoption.

At the federal level, U.S. Rep. Pete Stark introduced a bill in October dubbed the "Every Child Deserves a Family Act." The California Democrat's proposal immediately drew the ire of the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance (IRF). IRF claims the proposed law could run "roughshod over the convictions of many faith-based adoption agencies" and "require every state to forbid every agency that it licenses from preferring mother-father families over gay families or single parents."

"Obviously, it's becoming a political issue," Marquette University political scientist John McAdams said of adoption.

"The fundamental problem is that secular elites—who basically don't like religious people at all—aren't willing to make any concessions at all to the consciousnesses of religious people," said McAdams, an evangelical Christian and Republican. In such a climate, children needing homes take a back seat to politics, he said.

McAdams points to Massachusetts as a prime example: In 2006, Catholic Charities of Boston stopped its 103-year-old adoption service rather than comply with a state law that made it illegal to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples when placing ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedTragedy, Tradition, and Opportunity in the Homosexuality Debate
Tragedy, Tradition, and Opportunity in the Homosexuality Debate
We need a better approach to the traditional biblical ethic on sexuality.
TrendingPope Francis Learns What Rick Warren, Russell Moore, N. T. Wright Think about Marriage
Pope Francis Learns What Rick Warren, Russell Moore, N. T. Wright Think about Marriage
(UPDATED) Warren turns Vatican conference into 'revivalist meeting,' while Moore explains why marriage crosses theological boundaries.
Editor's PickA Decision in Ferguson: How Should Evangelicals Respond?
A Decision in Ferguson: How Should Evangelicals Respond?
The grand jury has made a decision in Ferguson, now we have to make ours. How will we respond?
Comments
Christianity Today
Orphans on Deck
hide thisJanuary January

In the Magazine

January 2010

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.