Adoption resources focus on gospel, provide guidance for families

Perhaps the most influential book written by a Southern Baptist on the subject of adoption is Adopted for Life by Russell Moore, president of the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC). In the book, Moore offers a thorough scriptural discussion for prospective adoptive families and for their extended families, friends and churches.

Families considering adoption will appreciate Moore’s conversation about adoption’s theological foundation but especially his testimony of how adopting his two sons deepened and strengthened his faith. Moore helps prioritize adoption for Christian families by explaining that adoption is both gospel and mission: every Christian is an adopted member of God’s family, and Christians have a calling to grow God’s family through adoption into the faith.

While Moore does address the Christian community at large, his audience specifically includes couples who are coming to terms with infertility and couples who already have children. To these, he says that adopted children and biological children are both “real” children, just as a Christian is “really” a child of god.

The majority of Moore’s book presents an overview of the practicalities of adoption: international or domestic, open or closed, healthy or special needs, and gender, age, and race. He walks families through the entire adoption process and offers advice for how to wait for the phone call, how to welcome a new child home, and how to talk to the new son or daughter about adoption.

Adopted for Life will help families learn more about why and how to adopt. Moore’s book may inspire readers to adopt a child or to consider how to help orphans, but it certainly makes readers mindful of their “mission of representing Christ to the fatherless among us.”

Available from Crossway, an updated edition of Adopted for Life will be released next fall.

Two other Southern Baptist pastors teamed up to write Orphanology: Awakening to Gospel-Centered Adoption and Orphan Care, offering a practical response to God’s command to care for the fatherless told through the stories of families and ministries who are responding.

Tony Merida, founding pastor of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, N.C., and associate professor of preaching at Southeastern Baptist Seminary, joined with Rick Morton, associate pastor for discipleship and equipping at Faith Baptist Church in Bartlett, Tenn., and a visiting professor at Kyiv Theological Seminary in Kyiv, Ukraine, to explain how adoption, foster care and other forms of orphan ministry can be explored by individual Christians and local churches. The book is available from New Hope Publishers.

Messages from a 2010 conference on adoption hosted by Southern Baptist Theological Seminary are offered through their website at:  Sixteen speakers are featured along with a panel discussion. A number of the speakers are also featured in a resource from SBTS called A Guide to Adoption and Orphan Care.

In addition to a variety of articles on the subject, the ERLC provides suggested scripture for praying through the process, along with questions to consider when exploring adoption. Visit the ERLC webpage at

—With additional reporting by Tammi Ledbetter

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