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Conservative Christians and Support for Transracial Adoption as an Alternative to Abortion


  • This article represents part of a larger project by the author on the growing evangelical adoption and orphan care movement in the United States. The data used in this study were acquired from the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) and are available at: 〈〉. All coding specifications for replication are available from the author upon request. The author wishes to thank the editor, anonymous reviewers, and Jerry Kaufman for their feedback on previous versions of this article. He also thanks Jill Perry for her support and sacrifice.



This study examines whether support for transracial adoption (TRA) among evangelical Protestants and Catholics is uniquely tied to their cultural and political opposition to abortion. Mainline Protestants, persons of other religious faiths, and the religiously unaffiliated are used as comparison groups, and support for same-sex adoption is used as a comparison issue.


Data are taken from the 2005 Baylor Religion Survey. I estimate logistic regression models to examine the link between support for TRA and abortion attitudes across all five groups considered, net of relevant sociodemographic and ideological factors.


For evangelicals and Catholics, opposition to abortion under any circumstance has a positive net effect on their support for TRA. However, opposition to abortion does not predict support for TRA among mainline Protestants, adherents to other religions, or the unaffiliated. Support for same-sex adoption is a strong predictor of support for TRA across all groups.


An interesting paradox is thus observed in that evangelicals and Catholics who support TRA are more socially progressive on most other issues (younger, more racially tolerant, support same-sex adoption), except in their views toward abortion. On this issue, they are more conservative.