Throughout November, our nation celebrated National Adoption Month. This option for a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy offers a path to continue to fulfill her personal goals, and also presents the opportunity for her child to have a bright future.
For those dreaming of growing their family, adoption provides the opportunity to fulfill that hope. According to Rikki Cruz, a case worker at Lifeline Children’s Services, at any given time about 50 families they work with are waiting to adopt, and they see around 30 adoption placements every year.
A loving choice
Unlike foster care, adoption is an elective decision where a woman may place her child with the adoptive family of her choosing. In the adoption process, a woman partners with a private adoption agency, rather than the state. The birth mother is in control of the process, and may choose between three different types of adoption: open, partially open, and confidential. Adoption is a loving and responsible parenting decision.
- Open Adoption
- In open adoption, a woman chooses her child’s adoptive family, and maintains open communication and contact with her child.
- Partially Open Adoption
- In partially open adoption, a woman chooses her child’s adoptive family, and receives pictures and letters through their adoption agency or a lawyer.
- Confidential Adoption
- In confidential adoption, a child is placed with an adoptive family through careful discernment of an adoption agency or a lawyer. The process is confidential, but the agency may share medical information pertinent to caring for the child.
When a woman chooses adoption, she is “making an extremely intentional, selfless, and loving decision for that child,” Rikki says. When choosing an adoption agency to partner with, Rikki advises that a woman should look for an agency that will “listen and allow her to be in the driver’s seat.”
Rikki also suggests that if faith is important to the birth mother, she can prioritize working with an adoption agency that will place children in gospel-centered families.
Lifeline’s Pregnancy Counseling blog covers a wide array of topics and is a great resource for women considering adoption.
Rikki says that the amount of families waiting to adopt domestically through a private adoption agency (rather than through the state or foster care systems) vastly outnumbers the birth moms who are choosing to place their child for adoption. “We have literally never seen a baby born with no option of an adoptive family to be placed with, even babies with the highest medical needs, which is a huge praise.”
A woman considering adoption can receive free counseling, and take the first steps in making an adoption plan by talking with a licensed adoption agency or an adoption lawyer. While GPCC is not an adoption agency, we are here to walk through every step of the process with our clients.
A picture of the gospel
As Christians, we see a beautiful picture of what God has done for us in adoption. From Jesus’ bold claim in Matthew 12:50, “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother” to John 1:12—“But to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God,” we see how our Heavenly Father has welcomed us into his family by no merit of our own. Because of what Jesus has done, we are called sons and daughters of the King of Kings.
As Mary Holloman writes, “We as Christians can’t help but be affected by adoption, because we have been adopted. Adoption is our story, and that knowledge compels us to play a part in earthly adoption, as well.”
Rikki suggests to connect with your local church to find out how they are caring for adoptive families. “Join in those efforts. Check in with them during the waiting. Allow them the space to grieve any losses and hope for what’s to come.” Rikki encourages that you can “celebrate with [adoptive families] as you would if they were having a biological child by throwing baby showers and setting up meal trains once baby is home. Adoptive families often feel overlooked in these ways.” She adds that financial assistance, and spreading awareness of an adoptive family’s efforts to raise funds is also a vital way to show support.
Rikki tells us that while there is a plethora of families waiting to adopt domestically, the number of children waiting to be adopted internationally is a dire need; there are far more children waiting to be adopted than families pursuing international adoption.
It’s clear that we need more families to follow the call to care for the vulnerable, and when they do, we can joyfully celebrate the picture of the gospel message evident in adoption. “It is a fierce and victorious battle cry, a proclamation of the freedom and family that can be found only and forever in the name of Jesus Christ.” You can read more in Mary Holloman’s blog, The Urgency of Adoption For Every Christian. We also invite you to check out Episode 015 of The Empowered Advocate Podcast, Adoption, Abortion, and the Impact of Both.
Lifeline Children’s Services is a wonderful adoption agency with case workers here in Greensboro, and is a great resource for information about both domestic and international adoption.
Other Helpful Resources:
- Lifesong for Orphan’s MyStory — Online platform to contribute to the financial needs of families pursuing adoption
- Lifeline Children’s Services podcast, The Defender
- Adoption Share — Online platform designed to leverage technology to bring reform, efficiency, and innovation to the private and public domestic adoption arena
- National Council For Adoption — iChooseAdoption — educational resources for expectant parents facing an unplanned pregnancy