National Adoption Month is coming up, and churches are mobilizing like never before to encourage people to adopt. But there is a secret underneath it all: Single Christians need not apply.
When I was considering adopting my daughter, one of the most disheartening things was the active discouragement of many Christians who told me point-blank that only married couples should adopt. It was bad enough, I thought, to be consigned to a life of singleness because of the lack of unmarried men in church. For people to say singles are unworthy to adopt a child who would otherwise be living in an orphanage boggled my mind.
The other day, I received a copy of SBC Life, the Southern Baptist Convention's denominational magazine, where I saw David Roach's piece "Adoption Ministries Thriving in SBC Churches." First, the good: It pointed out how any church, large or small, can be involved in adoption ministry toward those who want to adopt, how scandalous it is how many orphans are in this world, and that it's up to Christians to do something about it. I was gratified to learn of a few loan programs out there for those wishing to adopt, as the costs—especially for international adoption—usually climb well past $30,000. It was also refreshing to see how many parents were supporting interracial adoption. And it providing some good ideas for preparing for November 8, which is Orphan Sunday.
All the photos and the pronouns used in the article, however, referred to couples. This was true on some of the related websites, such as Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, where I found no mention that some of the adoptive parents might be single men or women. This was certainly true on the application forms ...1
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