NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Your church can put pro-life principles into action by helping families adopt. Here are a few suggestions:
— Compile a file of resources for families who might want to adopt. Keep contact information for reputable licensed agencies. Include information about the IRS Adoption Tax Credit.
— Train your leaders and church members to be sensitive to issues impacting adoptive families. For example, people should be taught that it is usually inappropriate to ask an adoptive parent questions about a child’s biological parents.
— Add books on adoptive parenting and adoption education to your church library. Purchase children’s books that address adoption.
— Begin a playgroup for adopted children. Children and parents benefit from being around others who share similar experiences. Playgroups are great witnessing opportunities.
— Highlight adoptive parents as examples of courage, patience and love during family emphasis Sundays and other appropriate times.
— Establish endowments to provide scholarships for adoptive families who have met guidelines for the adoption process.
According to the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse, the total cost of adopting varies from $0 to more than $40,000. The wide range reflects a multitude of factors including the type of adoption, the type of placement agency or facilitator, and the child’s age and circumstances.
The good news is there are many organizations willing to help defray the expenses — an Internet search found more than 5,000. They have varying requirements: some work with families who live in certain states or families who want to adopt from a particular country; others work with families looking for a special needs child. Some work within religious denominations; others work with families who want to adopt a child from foster care.
Once the decision has been made to adopt, many agencies are able to assist in making the adventure affordable.
Reprinted from Faith & Family Values, journal of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.