A lot of people think adoption is trendy. They think those considering it are just following in the footsteps of Hollywood, à la Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock, Connie Britton, and Charlize Theron. However, most singles who are thinking about adoption would roll their eyes and unequivocally state that it has little to do with Brangelina…or Maddox or Pax or any of the other Jolie-Pitt family members. It has to do with orphans and Love and The Gospel.
One of our more popular posts in the last few years was KB Thomas’s story of adoption on “Single and…Adopting a Child.” More recently, SingleRoots sometimes-contributor Ruth Rutherford announced she is adopting a sibling group from another country. And we know a good number of other singles who are praying about fostering or adopting children.
Still, some struggle with the question of whether or not it is good for a child to live with one parent instead of two. So is there a clear answer on whether or not singles should foster or adopt children?
SingleRoots Writers Say…
For wise counsel, we asked some of our SingleRoots alumni writers to weigh in on the matter. Here’s what they had to say:
“Marriage is not a requirement to fulfill the command given to us throughout scripture to take care of orphans. At the same time, parenting is not an easy task. Single parenthood takes the task to an entirely different level of ‘not easy.’ Volunteering to enter into the role of a single parent is not a decision that should be taken lightly. However, if you sense that God is leading you down that path, then it can also be a most rewarding adventure. Unfortunately, you may need to be prepared to defend your decision to those you love the most. I have had many people ask me if I thought it was fair for me to adopt a child that might have a chance to be placed in a two-parent home. I would agree that a two parent home would be the best situation for any child. We do not live in a world where everything always works out in favor of the best case scenario, though. Through my many travels in developing countries, I can say with certainty, that the life I could provide as a single adult far exceeds some of the current realities for these children. Life on the streets or in an institution rarely leads a child on the path to healthy adulthood. As with any huge, life altering decisions you must be willing to invite wisdom, accountability, and truth into the situation. Most importantly, seek direction through prayer and study. Consider all of your options. There are MANY other ways to tangibly live out James 1:27 in addition to foster care or adoption. Trust the journey that you sense God is leading you towards. The story that God wants to write for your life is better than any story you could ever dream of writing on your own!”
:: SaraBeth Fentress, author of Not a Break-up, but Maybe Just Some Distance
“This is a tougher question than we want it to be. I think your motives really matter. ‘I want a kid and can’t find a mate’ is not a good motive. That is about you, not the kid. If on the other hand you want to give a kid in trouble a chance, that might be different. This is why I might lean more toward the foster idea than adoption. But I think there are times even adoption could be right – again when the motive is the kid. Finally, do not go get pregnant – artificially or any other way. That is not ok. That is choosing to bring a kid into the world into a single parent home. That is not about the kid.”
:: Justin Campbell, author of Jesus and the Suffering Single
“I used to be judge-y about single people who wanted to adopt. Then a single friend in her 30s adopted a beautiful boy and I saw the joy it has brought to her life and the incredible future it has created for her son, who she mothers so well. My wife and I are currently in the adoption process, and it’s not an inexpensive or easy journey, so I think for most people, the hurdles it takes to adopt will help prove whether or not you’re ready. However, ultimately, my advice is to always start with prayer and transparency with your community of close, trusted friends and family as an initial litmus test for whether you should begin the journey.”
:: W. Brandon Howard, author of 5 Ways to Make Your Job (and Your Co-Workers) Miserable
Explore the Topic Further…
For further discussion on adoption or foster parenting as a single person, check out these posts:
Single and…Adopting a Child – “It’s easy to dismiss the command to care for orphans and widows when you read James 1:27, and all you have to do is change the channel to make them go away. Everything changed when I knew their names, held their naked bottoms in my lap, walked hand in hand down dirt roads, and looked into their eyes. A lot changed in my life after that trip but swelling inside of me was this desire to adopt that was like a fire burning out of control.”
Ministering to Orphans :: 11 Ways You Can Get Involved on the Local Level – “Taking care of orphans and widows is a mandate from God found throughout Scripture. Many Christians believe that caring for orphans and widows is primarily a married person’s job; however, single Christians can get involved in what God is doing around the globe to meet the needs of the fatherless in many ways.”
4 Ways God Ministered to Me through Mentoring – “‘Barren’ and ‘desolate’ were certainly how I would have described my singleness. I had no prospect of a husband and no hope for children. But God was showing me it wasn’t the circumstances of my life but my heart He was changing through this verse.”