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.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only Quotation Marks
Recent remarks on the Manhattan Declaration, Christians in Turkey, and invoking Jesus.
RecommendedBleep Off: The Fight to Save Family-Friendly Movie Filtering
Bleep Off: The Fight to Save Family-Friendly Movie Filtering
Hollywood studios sue VidAngel’s attempt to let viewers be ‘in the world but not of it.’
Trending‘Worst Year Yet’: The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hardest to Be a Christian
‘Worst Year Yet’: The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hardest to Be a Christian
Islamic extremism now has a rival, according to 2017 World Watch List.
Editor's PickLatasha Morrison: The Church Is the ‘Only Place Equipped to Do Racial Reconciliation Well’
Latasha Morrison: The Church Is the ‘Only Place Equipped to Do Racial Reconciliation Well’
The founder of Be the Bridge reveals her vision for solving America's race problem.
Christianity Today
Orphans on Deck
hide thisJanuary January

In the Magazine

January 2010

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