3 Reasons to Consider Adoption


As a congregation, we have set aside the month of November to celebrate adoption. As redeemed sinners who now understand the infinite value of all human life, we long to protect and preserve the lives of every child, and to grow in faithfulness in putting our Pro-Life views into practical expression. In this blog post, we hope to encourage and stir the souls of every member by discussing three reasons to consider adoption. As you read and consider, please pray for all those who await a “forever family.”

1. Adoption puts the Gospel on display (Romans 8:12-17; Gal 4:4-7).
Couples who have adopted find themselves being asked by others to describe their adoption experience. “What was that process like?” “Does your child know they’re adopted?” “Does it feel any different with your biological children?” Questions like these and many others provide open doors for very natural gospel conversations. Even if you don’t have the opportunity to dip into the deepest theological waters, you will almost certainly be able to draw attention to the glorious fact that the earthly adoption of a child into your family is a very explicit picture of the spiritual adoption of every believer into the family of God. The Apostle Paul reveals this in Romans 8:

“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ...” (v. 14-17; see also Gal 4:4-7).

This is amazing! Don’t forget; when we were born, all of us were rebel orphans–outside the family of God. As unbelievers, we were part of a family, to be sure, but God was not our Father, and we were not his children. We were, according to Jesus, “children of [our] father the devil...” (Jn 8:44). Furthermore, Paul reminded the Gentile Ephesians,

“...remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” (2:12).

But then, something happened to us. Adoption happened to us! Based on the Father’s electing grace, “in love he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ” (Eph 1:4, 5). Even though we were lowly, marginalized, and unwanted, God in His grace adopted us into His family, all based on the substitutionary life, death, and resurrection of His one beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ! And so now, not only are we sons and daughters of God our Father, we are also joint heirs with Christ! Everything that He has inherited from the Father, we have inherited, too. All the blessings of the covenants, all the rights and privileges of the household of God, are ours in Christ! The Father now loves us as His own sons and daughters. Better still, Jesus, our elder Brother, is “not ashamed to call [us] brothers” (Heb 2:11)! He long ago promised to be a Father to the fatherless (Ps 68:5; 10:14), and in the New Covenant, He has kept that promise!

Adoption is at the very heart of the good news of the gospel of the Kingdom. And Jesus called us to be His witnesses of this gospel to the whole world (Acts 1:8). Therefore, one of the best reasons to adopt children into your own earthly family is unapologetically God-centered–it puts the gospel on display, creating opportunities to “give a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Pet 3:15).
2. Adoption is a “goodwork” (Titus).
A second reason Christians should consider adoption is, quite simply, the virtue of it. Adoption is a “good work.” With all the biblical and theological underpinnings of adoption, it’s sometimes easy to forget that, as Christians, we should be adopting children because adoption is just a glorious thing to do! It’s a “good work,” and good works are pleasing to the Lord.

Every time I read the book of Titus, I am struck by how many times Paul mentions good works. The topic of good works seems to consume Paul in that letter! He exhorts Titus, “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works” (2:7; implying that pastors should lead the body in doing good works, including, possibly, adoption). He points out that Jesus gave Himself in order to create a new humanity “who are zealous for good works” (2:14), and even contrasts believers with non-believers, who are conversely characterized by their unfitness “for any good work” (1:16).
Paul says that when a believer is not doing a good work, he should yet be “ready for every good work” (3:1; “ready” is the same Greek word Peter uses in 3:15 of his first letter, when he exhorts believers to be “ready/prepared to give a defense to anyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that is in you”!). Believers are to “be careful to devote [ourselves] to good works” (3:8), and if we discern that we are not so, Paul insists that every believer make the effort to “learn to devote themselves to good works” (3:14). Finally, knowing that any talk of “good works” has the potential to lead some people to believe in a works-based salvation, Paul reminds us of the gospel–”He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of of the Holy Spirit (3:4-5). Saved by grace, for good works (see Eph 2:10).

So, why should Christians consider adoption? Quite simply, adoption is a good work! It takes one more orphan off the streets. It provides practically, emotionally, spiritually, and physically for an eternal soul; a precious child fearfully and wonderfully created in the image of God.
A word should be said here about fostering. There are thousands of children in our country who, because of a variety of heartbreaking circumstances, are in need of foster care. This, too, provides believers with a substantial opportunity for good works. And while fostering–by nature, temporary–may not display the same picture of the gospel that adoption does, it does put on display the epitome of biblical love. Here’s how: When we foster children in need of temporary care, we are putting on display the selfless, unconditional nature of love. Those who adopt “get” the reward of more children; their children. By contrast, those who foster give, without “getting” anything in return. Eventually, foster children are returned to other caregivers, much to the pain and grief of foster parents. So, why should believers consider fostering? Because it’s a gloriously good work! Giving, without the expectation of anything in return, is love in its purest form.

3. Adoption brings blessing upon your household (Ps 127:3-5).
Thirdly, and perhaps a bit pragmatically, Christians should consider adoption because it brings blessing upon your household. In adoption, God is not only putting His gospel on display; He is not only producing the fruit of good works in our lives; He is also blessing the household. In Psalm 127, King Solomon writes,

“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies at the gate” (v. 3-5).
Our modern individualistic culture doesn’t view children in the same pragmatic way this Psalm does. In Solomon’s day, more sons meant more warriors for the frequent battles against the “enemies at the gate” (v. 5). More children meant more financial security for the parents in old age. A father’s reputation was very closely tied to both the number and the character of his children.

One inspiring example of this is the legacy of Jonathan Edwards, America’s greatest evangelical theologian. A century and a half after his death in 1758, a study was undertaken to compare his legacy to that of a notorious New York criminal, who was given the pseudonym Max Jukes. Within the sample of more than 1,200 of Edwards’ descendants included “scores of clergymen, thirteen presidents of institutions of higher learning, sixty-five professors, and many other persons of noble achievement.” By contrast, the 1,400 descendants of Max Jukes had produced “more than three hundred ‘professional paupers,’ fifty women of ill repute, seven murderers, sixty habitual thieves, and one hundred and thirty other convicted criminals” (George M. Marsden, Jonathan Edwards: A Life, p. 500-501). Though unscientific, this study helps us to see that the life of one godly man can become a fountainhead for generations of descendants who bring honor to the family name and glory to the Name above all names. Therefore, Christians should consider adoption because it can bring blessing upon the entire household.
The Lord God loves all His children, and He has promised to be a father to the fatherless (Ps 68:5). His Word reveals several compelling reasons for Christians to consider adoption as a way to serve His children, and perhaps we should begin our considerations with the assumption that we will pursue adoption! As with every decision of this magnitude, however, a number of factors should be taken into consideration (see blog post from April 13, 2023, “Should We Have More Kids?”).

Father, you have promised to be a father to the fatherless. Thank You for Your electing grace, through which You adopted us into your heavenly family. Would You please use our ransomed lives in any way You choose, at whatever cost to us–that other orphans may experience family life as we are. And may the watching world look upon our lives of personal sacrifice and believe that You really did send Your Son (Jn 17:8, 21; 11:42; 16:30). Amen.