As Christians we often like to look to Scripture as our guide. When we are feeling down, we turn to scripture. When we are faced with a hard choice, we ask the Bible. So, in terms of adoption, what does the Bible say?
Giving children up for adoption can be a loving alternative for parents who may be unable to care for their own children for whatever reason. This selfless act can serve as an answer to a prayer for many couples who have not been able to have children of their own. Adoption is, for some, a calling to multiply their impact as parents by expanding their family with children who are not their own, biologically. It’s very favored by God, because He cares for each and every orphan that needs a loving home.
Scripture About Adoption
The Bible speaks about adoption several times. Paul, in his letters, often speaks of adoption as well. The idea is more of a spiritual one concerning our relationship to God, however the passages also seem to affirm the act of adoption as worthy because it is an act that God himself partakes in.
James 1:27 specifically tells us that we should look after orphans. It says “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” We are Christians have a moral obligation to help those who cannot help themselves, and adoption is one way that we can provide support.
We are called by God to stand up for those who are voiceless and helpless. Proverbs 31:8-9 says “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” The orphans around the world are in dire need of loving homes and families, and we as Christians can give them that.
Adoption is one of the greatest expressions of Christian love. Love is the basic reason for adopting a child. Bringing a child into our family is one of the most loving acts that we can do. We are in a sense giving our lives to the child. We can be reminded of Jesus’ words that the greatest act of love is to give our life over for another life.
Stories of Adoption in the Bible
There are several instances where adoption is laid out in the Bible. The Book of Exodus tells the story of a Hebrew woman named Jochebed who bore a son during a time when Pharaoh had ordered all Hebrew male infants to be put to death (Exodus 1:15-22). Jochebed took a basket, waterproofed it, and sent the baby down the river in the basket. One of Pharaoh’s daughters spotted the basket and retrieved the child. She eventually adopted him into the royal family and gave him the name Moses. He went on to become a faithful and blessed servant of God (Exodus 2:1-10).
In the Book of Esther, a beautiful girl named Esther, who was adopted by her cousin after her parents' death, became a queen, and God used her to bring deliverance to the Jewish people. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ was conceived through the Holy Spirit instead of through the seed of a man (Matthew 1:18). He was “adopted” and raised by His mother's husband, Joseph, who took Jesus as his own child.
God Adopted Each of Us
Before we were even born, we all were adopted into the family of God. Ephesians 1:5 states “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of His Will.” Through His Will, God sent down His Son to save us so that we could become His children. God loved us so much, He blessed us with such a beautiful gift. We were adopted, and therefore we can adopt others as Christians.
Galatians 4:4-5,7 states “But when the set time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. ..So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are His child, God has made you also an heir.” Not only are we adopted into the loving family of Christ and receive blessings from Him, we are also now full heirs of God’s rich inheritance. As a response to the lavish love we have been given, we must join together to share that love and hope with those who may not know Him. The children waiting around the world can become a part of the Christian family.
Matthrew 18:5 says “And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” For children who find themselves vulnerable and often voiceless, we are called by God to receive them in His name. When Christ tells His disciples that “whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthrew. 18:4), He is giving us a clear picture of what it looks like to love God with the best parts of ourselves. Through the miracle of adoption, we see not only how we are loved by our Father, but how we can also give ourselves to love others.
Adoption is shown in a favorable light all throughout scripture. Both those who adopt and those who are adopted are receiving a tremendous blessing from God, a privilege exemplified by our adoption into God’s family.