I have 3 new books related in one way or another to adoption and was holding off the mention of any of them but I have long suspected that evangelicals are adopting to create converts. Similar to my blog yesterday related to overpopulation, this is another way that a child is objectified to accomplish a mission that is not actually related to the child’s well-being.
So, I haven’t read this book yet but I will and after I read it, I may have more to say from my own perspective. There is so much wrong with this. Transracial adoptions are by far even more damaging and complex than same race adoptions and I recently wrote about one of those as well.
“Evangelicals felt that they had kind of unfairly lost a claim to the good works side of Christianity, the social gospel, the helping the poor,” the author tells Fresh Air‘s Dave Davies in an interview, “and so they wanted a way to get back into doing something for poor people’s rights, and adoption and orphan care came about as something that, I think, they could really invest themselves into without challenging or changing their stances on the other social issues that they care about.”
Joyce says that the connection between abortion and adoption is also key in that many Christians see adoption as a ready answer to the longstanding abortion debate. Conservative evangelicals have helped orchestrate a boom-and-bust adoption market in countries where people are poor, regulations are weak, and families are vulnerable to these agencies that are sending representatives abroad to recruit “orphans.” It is not uncommon, says Joyce, for these orphans to come from caring families who have a different understanding of adoption than Americans do: They agree to send their children away, thinking it’s temporary – for a better education and opportunities – and that the child will eventually return.
These evangelical Christian couples believe that God has destined this child to be in their family from the beginning of time. There is absolutely a missionary or evangelizing angle. A lot of the leaders in this movement, who have written some serious books talking about the adoption of children, describe this as the way that Christians can best mirror the experience of their own salvation – that Christians were adopted by God – and so Christians must reflect that experience by then going and adopting children.