Earlier this year I attended an adoption-centered Christian women’s retreat. One evening at dinner, some of my table-mates asked me my thoughts about ethics in Ethiopian adoptions. I gave a guarded response, knowing that many of these women were in process to adopt. Ultimately, I shared that I personally would not adopt a young, healthy child from Ethiopia at this time because of my concerns over the pervasive corruption in the system. I also shared some guidelines that I felt could help insure an ethical adoption if others decided to proceed with an Ethiopian adoption.
Later, the organizer of the event approached a friend who was with me at the dinner table. She asked if we had discussed ethics or other “negative” things about adoption. My friend responded that the topic had come up, but did not share anything further about our discussion. The organizer, the leader of this organization- a respected Christian blogger- replied that she prefer we not discuss the topic because “it might bring down the women who are waiting on a referral.”
Friends, this was just days after discovering some unethical practices in our adoption process. Believe me, if anyone felt “down” because of the (un)ethical situation in Ethiopian adoptions, it was me.
Unfortunately, this seems to be a prevalent attitude among Christians. There seems to be a thought that we shouldn’t discuss the ethics of adoption because that’s not placing our trust in God. That those who discuss adoption and warn against certain practices are “naysayers” at best or “working against God to prevent His will of adoption” or worse. The mindset seems to be that the ends justifies the means. That even if (and yes, people still pretend this is an “if” situation) unethical practices are occurring, it’s worth it because in the end, kids have families and hear about Jesus.
And friends, that Is. Not. Okay.
These attitudes not only are opposite of the Biblical truth that we should hold ourselves to a higher standard in our choices and behavior, but they make Christians and the worthy cause of caring for orphans and the needy a laughingstock to non-believers. The casual way we use “God called us to adopt” as a dismissal to our duty to ethical adoption practices just as easily dismisses us in our attempt to live according to The Way.
What it comes down to, for me, is this: God may call you to adoption, but He will NEVER call you to an unethical adoption.
And ignorance is not an excuse.
This guest post was written by Grace, an adoptive and biological mother of four, striving to live in The Way through practical love for others. She blogs about marriage, motherhood, and moving to the Deep South at Gracelings.org.