Saturday, October 17, 2009

When Is Adoption Wrong?

“Would you consider adoption”? A friend asked. “Not if we are struggling with fecundity”. I replied. “Is there anything wrong”? She pressed further. “What if I decided to adopt just for adoption sake”? She inquired. “Why are mostly guys against adoption”? She questioned. These are questions we hear and answer regularly from women.

The Bible is not anti adoption because Jesus was adopted by Joseph since he was not the blood father (Mt 1:18). The usage of adoption imagery to expose the relationship between God and sinners in the Bible (Rom 8: 15,23;9:4; Gal 4:5; Eph 1:5), and our place as coheirs with Christ, means that adoption is not unbiblical.

Many people have adopted children who were abandoned by their parents due to premature death, or because they felt they would be bad parents. Adoption is not a new concept in the Bible. However, it was not for adoption sake, but it was either to save a child or to feel the emptiness the adopter felt for not having a child.

The first case of adoption was Pharaoh’s daughter who found baby Moses in an ark of bulrushes when his mother abandoned him there rather than surrender him for death to comply with Pharaoh’s edict (Ex 1: 22). She took the child and placed her under the tutelage of a Hebrew woman because the child was Hebrew. In a twist of divine protection, it was Moses’ own mother who was employed to raise him up for Pharaoh’s daughter. When he was grown and eligible for the throne, she brought him to her to enjoy the rights and privileges as her own son. The princess’s reason for saving the child was compassion (2:6). One question then would be “are there no children needing compassion in the US that Americans travel across continents go and adopt elsewhere”?

There are at least twelve steps before you can adopt a child in the US. You need to brief your family, select the type, select an agency and lawyer, fill the application form, comply with the home study process, attend a pre-adoption and parenting classes, be matched or locate a child, prepare for the child, file a petition to adopt, finalize the adoption, and follow up with the post adoption services[1]. Consequently, more animals are finding shelter in the US than humans. What absurdity!

This is why many people cannot adopt in the US. One of my colleagues said that she agrees with the requirement for prospective parents to take parenting classes. So I asked her which classes she took before having her own babies. She looked at me and quibbled. Very few women took parenting classes in an agency before having babies. So why ask from others what you do not do yourself?

However, compassion for the child or for self should engender adoption. It would be selfish to adopt because we do not want to get old or just for adoption sake. Esther (daughter of Abihail) was an orphan who was adopted by his father’s nephew (cousin): Mordecai (Esther 2:15). Why was she adopted? Lack of parents! The imagery in Ezekiel 16:3-6 is one of compassion for which God decided to draw the Israelites to himself. He adopted them because of their poor (sinful) state that made them stink. One thing though is that no matter the case, the adopted child never forgets their roots.

Therefore, if a couple has never even tried to have children, they should not even talk about adoption. Adoption should come when you and your spouse have tried to have children but cannot, and then you can consider the option of adoption. And even then, it is not like a woman gets up, goes to the adoption agency, gets a baby, and brings home. It should be by consensus. As the idea crosses your mind then you invite the other partner to reason with you. Without which rather than a blessing, it will be a curse, especially if the child ends up being a bad kid. It would be all your fault. And can you imagine a marriage where one spouse believes their calamity emanates from the foolishness of the other spouse? You may be a statistics under the divorce court.

Until then, Adopt if you need a baby.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk
“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk).
Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk).

Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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