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
RecommendedShould I Attend the Wedding of a Gay Friend or Family Member?
Subscriber Access Only Should I Attend the Wedding of a Gay Friend or Family Member?
The invitation will come soon enough. Four views.
TrendingAttempt to Market Anti-Porn Ministry to Mark Driscoll Fans Goes Bad
Attempt to Market Anti-Porn Ministry to Mark Driscoll Fans Goes Bad
Craig Gross on XXXchurch email blast to Resurgence list: 'They sold us your email for a penny.'
Editor's PickWhy Stretch Marks Remind Me of the Resurrection
Why Stretch Marks Remind Me of the Resurrection
By these scars, we get new life.
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.