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

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Yesterday, a prominent blogger announced that we had opened our conference registration. He also mentioned a couple of our general session speakers.

We are always grateful when bloggers help us spread the word, but the reason I mention his announcement is because of a question that was asked in the comment section of that post. Someone said that he really liked one of the speakers but wondered why we had invited him to speak if he hadn’t adopted any children.

That is a great question: Why would we invite a speaker that hasn’t adopted any children?

One of the speakers I invited for a past conference basically asked me the same question, “You realize that my wife and I haven’t adopted, right?” My reply was simple, “Yes, but you have been adopted by God. As far as I’m concerned, that qualifies you to speak on adoption.”

Another one of our speakers, Tullian Tchividjian, who spoke at our 2008 conference, shared how he had answered that same question. “I’ve told people that a pastor need not have his hands in adoption (in other words, God doesn’t require pastors to adopt), but a pastor must have his heart in adoption.” I like that.

But what is often missing when people think about Together for Adoption’s conference ministry is the fact that it isn’t mainly about adopting children. Our conferences are mainly about the church’s privilege and responsibility to care for orphans. God has called all of His people to care for orphans in some way or another (James 1:27). Adoption is simply one way, though an extremely important way, that we can care for orphans.

At one point we did seriously consider changing our name to “Together for Orphans,” but we ultimately decided against it since Scripture’s teaching on adoption has profound implications for every aspect of orphan care.

So, what disqualifies someone from speaking at a Together for Adoption conference? Whatever the answer to that question is, it’s not that he or she has not adopted.

  • http://www.randybohlender.com Randy Bohlender

    We have got to move forward to the point where the adoption movement encompasses the church – which doesn’t mean that every single family adopts, but that every believer is involved.

    We have seven children, including four girls ages 3 and under. Our life would not work without families who have come alongside to support us with their time, prayers and sometimes, even finances. Are they not a key part of the adoption movement?

    The adoption movement, like every other movement, is always in danger of legalism. We can fight it by valuing the contribution of all involved.

  • http://www.thebabesproject.com Helen Parker

    If this were the requirements to be advocate for adoption, we’d be in trouble. In Australia it is currently almost impossible to adopt.

    In 2008–09, there were 441 adoptions of children in Australia, an increase of one adoption from the previous year. Of all adoptions in 2008–09, 61% were
    intercountry adoptions, 15% were local adoptions and 24% were ‘known’ child adoptions. (Adoptions Australia 2008-2009, Australian Institute of Health & Welfare).

    These numbers are dismal. Compare them to the extremely high number of abortions, children in foster care or orphans globally and there lies the concern… adoption is almost non-existent within our country.

    So who shall advocate for change?? We’re on the list to adopt internationally (locally not an option as we have biological children), but may be looking at 4-9 years.

    Does this mean I stay quiet until then? How about those I work alongside who will never adopt, but whom will wholeheartedly support those who do?

    This is something we get questioned about A LOT, so thank you for this post. I also wholeheartly believe that we are each to play our own part in the adoption movement.

  • http://FamilyPreservation.blogspot.com Mirah Riben

    How my one present proposal to speak at future conferences?

    Would you accept someone to speak about other missionary work being done with children in need of alternative care in places like Guatemala and Africa, other than adoption and how people could help support such projects, or do you promote adoption as the only solution?

  • http://www.togetherforadoption.org Dan

    Hi Mirah,

    No I do not promote adoption as the only solution. See this quotation from my post above: “God has called all of His people to care for orphans in some way or another (James 1:27). Adoption is simply one way.”

    I’d love to learn more about your ministry. Please contact me through the contact page: http://www.togetherforadoption.org/?page_id=6713.

    Thanks for commenting on the blog.

    Dan

  • http://www.davidleventhal.org David

    Good stuff Dan!

  • http://happyrain.org/ Emily

    If this were the requirements to be advocate for adoption, we’d be in trouble. In Australia it is currently almost impossible to adopt.
    In 2008–09, there were 441 adoptions of children in Australia, an increase of one adoption from the previous year. Of all adoptions in 2008–09, 61% were
    intercountry adoptions, 15% were local adoptions and 24% were ‘known’ child adoptions. (Adoptions Australia 2008-2009, Australian Institute of Health & Welfare).
    These numbers are dismal. Compare them to the extremely high number of abortions, children in foster care or orphans globally and there lies the concern… adoption is almost non-existent within our country.
    So who shall advocate for change?? We’re on the list to adopt internationally (locally not an option as we have biological children), but may be looking at 4-9 years.
    Does this mean I stay quiet until then? How about those I work alongside who will never adopt, but whom will wholeheartedly support those who do?
    This is something we get questioned about A LOT, so thank you for this post. I also wholeheartly believe that we are each to play our own part in the adoption movement.


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