Sometimes God puts a desire in your heart to step out into unknown territory. As a Christian, you may wonder if God is calling you to adopt a baby. After all, scripture instructs believers to care for those in need. Bringing a child into your home through adoption is a wonderful way to add to your family. But it’s a big decision. So how do you know if you should adopt?
Do you understand the adoption process?
If God is directing you to adopt, the first thing you can do is learn everything you can about adoption. Search for what’s required to adopt in your state. You may want to attend an adoption webinar, follow an adoption blog, or read books on adoption. Research adoption agencies online, checking out their reviews before you speak to them on the phone.
With today’s open adoptions, it’s also important that you understand adoption from a birth parent’s point of view. As you begin to understand the adoption process, it can help you decide if you should adopt.
Is your family ready for adoption?
Another thing to consider is whether your marriage and family are ready for adoption. Do you and your partner agree that adoption is the right path for your family? Pray together to seek wisdom from God. If your spouse isn’t ready to adopt, try praying for God to change his or her heart. No amount of nagging will be worth it—you want true, God-ordained unity here.
Keep in mind that adopting won’t fix what you feel is missing in your marriage. Without a strong foundation, the adoption might actually make your relationship worse. Likewise, adopting a baby won’t “fix” any unresolved infertility grief. This isn’t to say that your marriage has to be perfect (no one’s is!) However, you’ll need to weather the ups and downs of adding a child to your family.
Are you ready for an open adoption?
Open adoptions are the norm today. This type of adoption allows the birth mother to stay in contact with the adoptive family and her child. She can communicate with the child through letters, phone calls, or even in-person visits.
You and the birth mother will work together on and agree upon the type and amount of contact. It’s important that you search your heart to see if you’re ready for this type of openness. Some adoptive families aren’t comfortable inviting their child’s birth mother into their home. Be honest with your adoption coordinator about your comfort level. Most of all, pray and ask God to give you a willing heart to obey Him.
Are you financially prepared for adoption?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports the average cost of raising a child until the age of 18 in 2022 is estimated at around $272,049. As you think about adoption, you must take a hard look at practical matters like finances and resources. Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you financially stable?
- Is your job stable?
- Do you have space in your home for a child?
- Do you have health insurance that would cover a child?
- Could you provide education, clothing, food, and other needs for your child?
Besides these considerations, you need to think about the cost of adoption. Adopting a baby in the United States is expensive. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the average adoption costs anywhere from $20,000 to $45,000.
These expenses include a home study, legal fees, and living and medical expenses for the birth mother. Ask your adoption agency to provide you with a written description of what’s covered in their fees. There is an adoption tax credit, plus your employer may offer adoption assistance. You can also finance your adoption or get a loan. Despite these costs, you can rest assured that if God is leading you to adopt, He’ll provide the finances you need for the adoption.
Are you ready to trust God?
Adoption is a journey that requires great faith before your child even comes home. The adoption process can be long and complicated. It involves lots of paperwork, home visits, several interviews, and lots of waiting. There can be financial or legal roadblocks you didn’t expect.
It’s often an emotional roller coaster. One minute you feel excited, and the next, you’re discouraged, but it’s all part of the adoption journey. The hopeful adoptive parents who do well are those who fully surrender the adoption process to the Lord. They realize they can’t do it alone. They know they need God’s help. No matter how prepared you are or how much love you have, you still need Jesus. If God is calling you to adopt a baby, it will be a profoundly joy-filled calling.
Discover how you can answer God’s call to adopt a baby! Complete Lifetime’s free online application today.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on May 26, 2019, and has since been updated.
Founder of Lifetime Adoption, adoptive mom, adoption expert, and Certified Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P).
Since 1986, adoption expert Mardie Caldwell has been dedicated to bringing couples and birth parents together in order to fulfill their dreams.
“Many years ago, I was also searching for a child to adopt. We didn’t know where or how to get started. Through research, determination, and a prayer, our dream of a family became reality. I started with a plan, a notebook, assistance from a caring adoption consultant and a lot of hard work; this was my family I was building. We had a few heartaches along the way, but the pain of not having children was worse!
Within weeks we had three different birth mothers choose us. We were overwhelmed and delighted. Many unsettling events would take place before our adoption would be finalized, many months later. Little did I know that God was training and aligning me for the adoption work I now do today. It is my goal to share with our families the methods and plans which succeed and do not succeed. I believe adoption should be affordable and can be a wonderful “pregnancy” for the adoptive couple.
I have also been on both sides of infertility with the loss of seven pregnancies and then conceiving by new technology, giving birth to a healthy daughter. I have experienced first-hand the emotional pain of infertility and believe my experience allows me to serve your needs better.
It is my hope that for you, the prospective parents, your desire for a child will be fulfilled soon.”