Open Adoption in the Bible: Removing the Insecurities
Our children are not ours because they share our genes…
they are ours because we have had the audacity to envision them.
That, at the end of the day…or long sleepless night,
is how love really works.
Are you afraid of open adoption? Do you think it is not only uncomfortable but also unbiblical? Well, I want to share what I found in the Word of God. Before we find instances of open adoption in the Bible, you must understand that adoption is pleasing in God’s sight. There are many examples of Biblical characters encouraging and demonstrating adoption: The adoption of Moses by Pharaoh’s daughter, the adoption of Esther by her relative Mordecai after the death of her parents, and finally, Joseph’s adoption of Jesus as his own child. Apart from these people adopting children who are not biologically theirs, the Bible says we are the children of God through adoption. In fact the New Testament (Gal. 4:3–7; Eph. 1:1–6) describes the believer’s relationship with God through adoption. So, it is very clear that adoption is divinely authorized and has the blessing of God, our Maker.
But, what does the Bible have to say about open adoption? Well, Joseph’s adoption of Jesus is a beautiful example of this process. He welcomed Jesus as his own, even though Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. He recognized him as his own son and gave him all legal rights, including the claim to the Davidic family line. When Jesus was 12 years old, he wandered away from his parents during the Passover Feast in Jerusalem, and was found three days later in the temple talking to the teachers. When he was questioned by his mother, he replies, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49)
Now, no adoptive parent would want to hear something like this. We can only imagine how Joseph felt when Jesus calls God as His ‘father’. The Bible indicates that Jesus spent time alone in prayer, communicating with His Father God. Joseph could have allowed himself to get upset about this. But, he did not allow this kind of open communication with Jesus’ heavenly Father to sour his relationship with his adopted son. We read that Jesus was ‘subject’ to his parents as He grew in wisdom and stature (Luke 2:51). So, He enjoyed a close relationship with his earthly parents, while communing with His Father in Heaven.
Can we do the same with an open adoption? Yes, we can.
The focus of the adoption process should be the child. Your child’s birth family is very much a part of his or her life, whether you like it or not. What if Joseph and Mary had said to Jesus, “No, you may not tend to your Father’s business until you are 18 years old and an adult. Until that time, you are to have no contact with Him.” It may seem comical to consider that as we are talking about our Heavenly Father, but the issue of fear is the same.
An open adoption will remove feelings of insecurity and abandonment in your child that comes from not knowing anything about the birth family or not having any contact with them. It is your responsibility to maintain a healthy communication channel with your child’s birth family if you have agreed to that. If you fear complications from it, allow God to remove those fearful thoughts from your mind. Trust in Him and ask Him for the grace you need to opt for an open adoption.