Evangelical Adoptions: Churches Are AWOL in Helping Parents of Special Needs Kids by Julia Duin – Churches Are Useless (and Not Just Re: Adoptive Families)
By Julia Duin, who has also written and has been interviewed about how churches have let down single adults over the age of 30, and who wrote a wonderful book called “Quitting Church.”
This article discusses how so many evangelical churches encouraged Christian couples to adopt babies (usually from foreign nations), but once those adopted babies grew up to have all sort of developmental or personality disorders, churches would not help these parents.
This is like so much of American, evangelical, Baptist and Protestant Christianity:
Sell a certain deed, or a type of life style (or whatever it may be – let’s call it “X,” whether it’s adopting a baby, or whatever it is) as being so “godly” and “pure,” but once you live X out, and X either does not work out, or it creates a whole new batch of problems, those same Christians, or ones like them who promote X, refuse to help you.
I went through something similar in regards to adult singlehood. I wrote about that (Link): here.
I followed all the Christian dating advice I was taught as a teen and 20- something, Christian advice that taught me if I wanted to get married I would, if I just followed “biblical” wisdom, and the Christian persons, books, and magazine articles spelled it out for me.
However, when I remained single into my mid-30s, in spite of having followed the Christian teaching I had been given by other Christians when younger, and when I began asking Christians online (on various blogs and discussion forums) who dish out this swill to singles, why I didn’t have the husband I had been promised according to their teaching, interpretations, and worldview, I was yelled at, judged, and criticized by these Christians.
I was told God didn’t owe me anything, etc, and how dare I expect God to “reward” me with a spouse just because I did Z, Q, and R (i.e., just because I had followed Christian teaching and advice on the topic).
Christians will do this to you – they will sell you and market you on doing X, and so you carry out X, but five, ten years later, X did not work out and maybe even left you with a set of problems you need help with, the same Christians that sold you X in the first place are now not willing to help you, and may even insult you when you go to them telling them that X did not work, and you could use their help.
You end up getting punished for taking the very life-style advice, for buying the marketing, these Christians sold you, guilt tripped you, or conned you into taking in the first place. 😤🤬😡😣😫
It’s demonic and perverse, I swear.
It is crazy-making and despicable how Christians set people up in these no-win or stressful or miserable situations, then fault those people when they try the Christian advice, and admit to defeat, stress, and they ask for help.
Christians set people up for failure with their stupid advice, then have the audacity to victim-blame those people (who earnestly took and followed the advice) for failing. 😡😤🤬
After having read through the testimonies of the parents on this page (see below, link with excerpts), it sounds like exhausting, hellish work to raise these adoptive children who turn out to have medical and behavioral problems.
I cannot, in good conscience, condemn any adult who realizes after so many months or years, they don’t have the mental or physical strength to keep parenting such children and so decide to return these children back to the adoption agency.
I appreciate the work Dee of Wartburg Watch has done against abuse, but I recall years ago, she ripped into famous Christian speaker Beth Moore, because Moore returned one of her adoptive children back to his mother.
I wrote about that situation (Link): here, towards the end of the post, under the sub-heading “Beth Moore / Judgementalism.” (You can scroll down that page to find the Beth Moore section, which is buried under a long discussion about YEC.)
It’s very easy to sit in judgment of someone else when or if your life is more or less going okay at the time and the person you’re criticizing has a life that is falling apart, or they’re in the middle of a calamity, or you may have a different temperament or inner strength the person you’re criticizing lacks.
I personally do not think I’d have the fortitude, endurance, or patience to put up with an adoptive kid who acts out constantly, even into their late teens. I’d want a break from that, too.
I have way, way more comments below this long excerpt, so please keep scrolling to read everything; thank you:
by Julia Duin
For years, evangelical Christians were enthusiastic supporters of adoption by sponsoring conferences, targeting adoption-friendly Sundays and staging adoption fairs in parish halls.
… Parents now say that the churches that encouraged them to adopt in the first place aren’t there for them now.
…Few statistics exist on the number of adoptions gone wrong, other than a 10-year-old study by the US Department of Health and Human Services reporting “adoption disruptions” ranging from 10-25 percent. This little-known statistic points to a meltdown in the industry and a sign that adoption and foster care have become a landmine for many families who believed God had called them to help these children.
No one told them there could be an aftermath. Here are some of their stories.
[I will not be pasting in ALL stories. These are just a few from the page]
Evangelicals adopted at a higher rate than others
“Joy” was a social worker in Tacoma, Washington, who adopted a 9-year-old boy in 2000, hoping for the best. She had 32 years of experience working for the state and a Christian agency where she’d helped more than 600 people adopt foster children.
The divorced mother of two was prepared for challenging behavior, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and developmental delays and PTSD from the child’s six years with mentally ill biological parents.
What stunned her was that by age 15, her son was a registered sex offender. Bad relationships, drug abuse and a child out of wedlock followed. Now 30, he cannot hold down a job.