“Orphan Theology” and the Christian Adoption Movement

From ‘Orphan Sunday’ to the Orphan Summit, many evangelical churches have found a new calling in overseas adoptions. But it may be doing more harm than good. For many Evangelical Christians, giving a needy child a home isn’t the only reason to adopt an orphan; according to journalist Kathryn Joyce, author of The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption, the call is also rooted in ‘orphan theology.’

Taking in a child mirrors the Christian salvation experience – reflecting how God adopted them into the family of believers. But Joyce says the demand doesn’t match the need, and children with intact families are sometimes swept into the adoption system.

In response, Jedd Medefind, President of the Christian Alliance for Orphans, says Kathryn Joyce has taken smaller facts and woven them into a story that misses the bigger picture. Adoption corruption exists, he says, but that’s no reason to stop working to give truly needy children a chance at a better life.

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