Don't Quit

Paul Shrier is professor of practical theology at Azusa Pacific University and a foster parent.

Several years ago I facilitated a faith-based luncheon at Azusa Pacific University to promote foster care among faith-based organizations. We invited representatives of churches, synagogues, mosques, and other religious groups. We encouraged them to promote foster parenting, thinking that children need homes where they can safely live and grow.

A friend disagreed with the idea of inviting leaders of other faiths. He said he'd rather children bounce around between families or stay in group homes than go to stable homes with foster parents of non-Christian faiths. I suggested that since he felt so strongly, he should become a foster parent. He had no response.

The same principle applies here. There has been a lot of solid, reliable research on outcomes for children fostered or adopted by stable gay couples. The studies show that these children are no more likely to become gay than the general population, and they have a somewhat better chance of finishing high school and thriving in other ways than they do even in heterosexual foster homes. Children flourish in safe, stable environments, no matter what the sexual orientation of the parents.

It would be great if Christians would foster and adopt all of the children in need. Since they don't, the safety and welfare of the child ought to trump our theological and social beliefs. As an adoptive parent and a former foster parent who still helps other foster parents and kids, I have a firsthand understanding of children's needs. They need love and safety. The beliefs of those who provide it are secondary; the Bible shows that God can use even non-believing parents to accomplish ...

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