Morality of Adoption


I have volunteered in the pro-life in various ways for the past 12 years, and it’s always secretly bothered me how everyone seems to treat adoption as not merely tolerable, but positively good.

I think of bumper stickers like, “Adoption: The loving option” and ones that change “b” to “d” and “r” to “p” in “abortion” to spell “adoption.” I think of the number of times I’ve heard people at rallies mention how many abortions Planned Parenthood performs and how few adoption referrals they make. I think of the signs I’ve seen, and the conversations I’ve had. Adoption, good. Abortion, bad. It’s that simple.

Honestly, I do not see how we can say that abortion is murder without saying that adoption is abandonment. Abandonment means, “to give up to the control or influence of another person or agent” or “to give up with the intent of never again claiming a right or interest in.” This is exactly what happens in adoption: the natural parent or parents give up their right of parentage to another, either an institution (orphanage, agency) or a person. It is done with the intent to no longer claim a right or interest in the child. Even in cases of open adoption, the natural parent has no rights over the child.

Most will draw a distinction between what is widely accepted as abandonment, namely, giving birth to a child next to a dumpster, and adoption. Yes, the former is a graver evil, but is not this like the pro-choicers who say that a woman should not self-abort, but rather have a doctor do it? In other words, let’s institutionalize it. Even in cases of private adoptions or Baby Moses Law drop offs (the worst form of adoption), it is still institutionalized by the state.

I will say that there are some moral cases of adoption, but they are few: if both parents are dead, and if both parents are physically or mentally incapable of providing for the child. (Child abuse falls in a different category altogether.)

In the case of Moses in the Bible, this could have been a moral adoption. The mother was saving the life of Moses in the only way she believed possible, though there may have been other alternatives that would have been morally sound. Further, simply because Moses’ mom did it does not make it a good thing. Jacob cheated Esau twice; the fact that he because a great man as a result does not make his actions good.

None of these cases are the same, however, as a mother giving her child up for adoption because she believes she can’t take care of him, because he will be a financial burden, because she won’t finish college, etc. The reality is this: the child is given up because he is an inconvenience. The mother or father walks away from responsibility. If every life is a gift from God, that gift was given to the natural parents, NOT to the adoptive parents. It is not their child, and it never will be their child.

In short, it is every child’s right to be raised by his or her natural parents. Deprivation of that right is a grave injustice.

Hopefully I have not enraged anyone too much.:blush: This is something I’ve been talking to my wife about for a very long time, and she told me to post here…God help me if I’ve kicked a hornet’s nest.


What’s the alternative?

In some ways, it is irrelevant whether or not adoption is moral. Regardless of why or how a child is placed for adoption, the child is there.


The alternative between adoption and abortion? Raising your child yourself.


Adoption is “abandonment”??
You have it backwards. Adoption is the opposite of abandonment.



How very strange. I view the concept of adoption in the complete opposite light to you. Most especially because by Christs loving sacrifice, we became His brothers and the adopted children of God. Adoption, though it arises from many sad circumstances, proves that family is not defined solely by DNA. It proves that our own adoption into Gods family is real and Jesus words light the way.

Surrogacy on the other hand is a real abuse of human beings dignity and a curse to the meaning of adoption.


I explained why I think it is abandonment. Please tell me where I’m wrong.


If we are adopted children of God, whom are we adopted from…the natural parents, so to speak?


ShipSheep said “It is not their child, and it will never be their child.”

Really? So when baptism makes us adopted children of God, does that not really accomplish anything in reality?

I am an adopted child. I know many people who are adopted. Believe me, an adopted child most certainly is the child of their adopted parents. DNA isn’t the most important thing.

Regarding abandonment, people actually do throw children away and expose them to die. That is for ones that actually make it to birth. Mothers who decide to give their babies up for adoption ARE making the loving choice. They are acknowledging that they are not capable of raising the child and they work with professionals to place the child in a loving home. How is that anything like abandonment?


Do you really believe that the women giving their children up for adoption, especially in America, could not have in any way provided for their children? I have seen women do more with less.

What does it matter if you’re an adopted child? That doesn’t change the objective reality of it. I am an adopted child too, but I didn’t want to mention that until someone brought it up. My sister was adopted. My best friend growing up was adopted, as were many of my other friends. I have good friends who have adopted children. My adoptive parents have always been loving and supportive, but they are not my parents. I have met my natural parents. But they are not really my parents. I think of myself as an orphan.

This is an issue that has bothered me for years, but I’ve held it and never discussed it with others, because I know few people would agree with me. Lately though it has been bothering me greatly, largely because of some friends of mine who adopted a boy last summer. They traveled to the city to pick up the boy, and when they got there, the mom backed out and said that she could take care of the boy and wanted to keep it. They asked for prayers that the adoption goes through. I was infuriated! Here is a mother who wants to bravely care for her own child, despite adversities, and they’re asking for prayers that she’ll give him away! And yes, once they met her and the baby, she did give him up. In my opinion, they stole that child from his rightful mother. They never should have been there to influence her opinion.

As for baptism, I would say no, it means nothing to me. Jesus said that it would have been better for Judas not to have been born. I look at myself and say the same thing.


Well no, adoption out of the slavery of ancestoral blood. Even Jesus, the Messiah the Jews had awaited from the line of David… was the adopted son of Joseph from that line.

That adoption proved the limited significance of bloodlines and the significance of life in the spirit common to all men. Adoption is an expression of the superior capacity of man.


So, what should we do with children who are orphans and have no family to take care of them? What should we do with children who are in unsuitable homes and have endured abuse from “parents” who are not fit to raise them? Should we ignore the millions of foreign babies who are abandoned with no hope of a future, when someone could bring them here and give them families who want them and a future of hope and prosperity? Sperm and egg donation are not the only requirements for parenthood.


I believe I mentioned that in my original post. The problem I have is with a mother who gives up her child because it is an inconvenience to take care of it, not someone taking in a child whose parents are dead, physically or mentally inept, or abusive.


I am sorry you feel like an orphan. Perhaps that is why you have the thoughts you do regarding adoption as abandonment. I grew up " on the other side of the rairoad tracks" and I don’t mention it but now you have so I’ll share life on the other side.

My mother was pregnant with me and kept me. My dad ditched the family at an early age never to be seen again either in person or in child support. I grew up near poverty level and I used to be envious as a child of those that had a father and mother and wished I had been adopted into a home where a mother didn’t have to work 80 hours a week and leave us alone in a neighborhood with drugs, violence and child molesters and had a Dad like everyone else. Father’s day was especially hard and seeing other families especially in Church made me very sad for longed for a family in my heart.

Did it make me stronger? Yes and no. I have deep emotional scars. People that can’t take care of children and provide for them are in my opinion doing a loving thing by choosing adoption for their child.

You never know what your life may have been with your natural mother. Maybe something like mine that left much to be desired and maybe not.

We just never know and wondering what if, can only be a plan of the Devil to make us unhappy with our state. You are not an ophan you are a child of God.

May God bless you abundantly and take away your feeling of being orpahned. Perhaps some counseling would help.


In general this is true.

Culpability of parents in such situations is for God to judge. Whether or not a parent giving up their child is an act of sacrifice and charity or selfishness and abandonment is something we cannot judge since we do not know all the circumstances. But, God can and God does.

Regarding adoption, it is **always **a charitable act on the part of the adopting parents to take in an abandoned child.

In the cases I am familiar with, it is a desire on the part of the birth parents to do what they believe is best for their child in the circumstances they find themselves that motivates them.

It sounds like you have a lot of anger over your own adoptive situation. Have you gotten counseling for that to work through your feelings?


Adoption is anything but abandonment. Abandonment is negligence. Adoption is the opposite of negligence because it is the act of facilitating care for a child. It is a parent making serious sacrifices for a child. Adoption says, “I want to give you the best chance to have a good life, so I am placing you with people that will provide better care than I can.” This is an incredibly selfless act that shows the extent to which a parent will go to give a child what the child needs. Sometimes a mom is too young, poor, has medical problems, etc. and she realizes it is in fact in the baby’s best interest to be raised by another but always still loved by her, even if from afar.


Your thoughts and comments are totally offensive and based on myths. Sorry as an adoptive parents this line of thinking is completely off based and frankly terrible. There is no basis in reality.


your ideas are totally based on myths.


If we want these women to choose life, we can’t turn around and say to them that they are selfish for choosing adoption. That will only push them more towards abortion. Imagine being a desperate teenager, and your only options are a.) abortion, or b.) caring for a baby you’re not emotionally, physically, or financially able to handle. How many do you think will still choose life in that situation?

We shouldn’t judge women who choose adoption, a lot of them are frightened out of their minds. They want what is best for their child, and have realized it’s not them. Can you imagine how painful and humiliating that must be?

The fact that even through all they have gone through they still decide to give their child life and a loving stable home is a good thing. We should be supporting them, not assuming the worst of them.


I don’t think you mean that adoption is abandonment.
I think you are trying to say that giving your baby to others is abandonment.

But in many respects, it is the most selfless act ever.



I don’t think many parents give up their children for adoption because taking care of them is an “inconvenience”.
Is this what your biological parents explained to you?


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