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Christian Adoption?


  • Brent Waters

    1. Brent Waters is the Jerre and Mary Joy Stead Professor of Christian Social Ethics, and Director of the Jerre L. and Mary Joy Stead Center for Ethics and Values at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois.
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Abstract:  Adoption is not a uniquely Christian practice, but it is a distinctly Christian act when grounded in the traditions of neighbor love and familial belonging. An orphaned child is a neighbor in need, and adoption is a fitting response to meeting this need. Caritas is the initial motive prompting this response but is not a disinterested provisional of parental care. Rather it is oriented toward parental love and familial belonging. Consequently, this Christian understanding of adoption should be preserved as a uniquely moral act in order to prevent orphaned children from being reduced to a means of remedying childlessness, or the using of adopted children as a wedge for justifying unwarranted governmental intrusion into the family.