Providing gospel-centered resources to mobilize the church for global orphan care.


Pro-Life = Pro-Orphan

by Dennae Pierre Published May 3, 2011

When thinking about the devaluing of human life, does it get more practical then to care for those who are most oppressed and vulnerable? In my opinion, orphan care is the single most practical way to support the pro-life movement. It is unfortunate that pro-life Christians are able to passionately speak about the life of the unborn, but once that unwanted child enters the world, the voice gets much quieter. In no way do I want pro-life voices to get quieter, but I would love to see the pro-orphan voice raise to match it, because the two issues have common links.

Not too long ago, I sat across the table at a McDonalds speaking to an overwhelmed mother while our children played. She was noticeably pregnant and I knew that she had been very overwhelmed the past year after the birth of her second child. When I asked about how she was feeling about having her third baby, she confessed in tears that she was trying to raise the money necessary to go to California to have an abortion (she had already passed her time frame to be able to have a legal abortion in Arizona). I was also quite concerned about her ability to parent a third child and began to speak to her about adoption. She informed me that when she was six months pregnant with her second child, she began working with an adoption agency to try to find a loving family to place her child. Months went by, the baby came, and there was no family that was interested in adopting her baby. Once she gave birth, there was no way she would place her child in foster care, knowing that there was no guarantee her child would ever find a home or adoptive family.

We could discuss the myriad social, racial, and economic dynamics or the lack of prevention and education that may have led to that woman getting pregnant again, but the fact remained that she was pregnant and could not find a family to adopt her child. Unfortunately, pro-life literature often gives the poor representation that there are thousands of couples waiting to adopt children and uses this as an answer to abortion. The truth is if you are a single black woman with any history of mental health issues or substance abuse, the chances of finding an adoptive family are very low.

Each of us should spend time in fervent prayer with our spouse asking God to show us how we are to participate in caring for orphans. If you read the famous “care for the orphan and widow” passage in context (James 1:27), you will see that caring for the orphan is very tightly connected to being a doer of God’s word. It is not a command to those few within the church who feel “called” to adoption, but is a directive to the people of God. James says – Don’t just listen to God’s word and stay unchanged. Listen! And then let God’s word transform and change you. Tame your tongue. Care for the orphan. Care for the widow. Keep yourself from the world’s lusts. “Caring for the orphan…” applies to you just as much as taming your tongue.

What if instead of asking God to open the door and drop a baby in our lap if we are “meant” to adopt, we begin to beg God for the privilege to participate in the beautiful gospel re-enactment that happens in adoption. What if instead of waiting and asking God to open doors for adoption, we move forward to adopt and ask the Lord to shut doors if we are not to adopt.

I say all of this out of a passionate plea for you to prayerfully consider adoption, but I also want to make sure I express that adoption isn’t what “righteous good Christians” do. Christians who adopt are not more righteous then Christians who don’t (and if we think we are, may we repent of our self-righteousness!!). So, regardless of your desire or ability to adopt, support orphan care. You can care for orphans in countless ways, just please be intentional about it.

Serve and care for families who adopt. Give sacrificially so someone can adopt. Support seed adoptions and orphans world wide. Find ways to at least be involved at some basic level in the life of a child who is an orphan spiritually. Volunteer to mentor a child in foster care. There are countless ways. Don’t stay passive on this issue but seek the Lord in how you are to be involved in some way in caring for the orphan.

  • http://Website Anonymous

    I am so thankful for this blog. Thank you for sharing your heart and insight.

    One question…
    “The truth is if you are a single black woman with any history of mental health issues or substance abuse, the chances of finding an adoptive family are very low.”
    I know you worked in foster care and adoption before you became an adoptive mom, so I certainly don’t want to presume to know more than you, but I find this statement a little hard to believe. We have friends who have been waiting to adopt domestically for nearly two years- open to any ethincity, any family history, any “complications,” etc. And they’re still waiting for a baby. Can you flush out this statement a little more?

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