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The Adoption Choice

A couple who could 'make their own' meet resistance to their decision to adopt a child.

May 24, 1997|Peter K. Muschinske is pastor of Christ Lutheran Church of Orange. (Editor's note: The Muschinskes' adopted son arrived this week.)

We have had perplexing responses to our decision not to procreate our second child; we intend to adopt.

A typical response: "Are you two having trouble getting pregnant?"

No, we reply. It happened quite readily with our daughter and probably wouldn't be a problem.

Yes, we're fertile and yes, we've decided to invest ourselves, our time and (believe me) our money into adopting. So, the litany of opposition begins.

"Oh, adopted children just don't work out." "Why don't you just 'make your own'?" "That (adopting when you don't 'have to') seems pretty selfish to me!" And here's a beauty: "I feel you would be stealing a baby from some infertile couple."

I believe I have a calling to care for creation and that includes issues of population and consumption. The blessing to the first humans was, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the Earth." Well, let no one suggest that we have failed on that count. Overpopulation is not just a problem in undeveloped nations. One child in the U.S. consumes the natural resources of 32 children in Bangladesh.

Adoption is complicated and expensive. I applaud pro-life folks who are working on these matters. But those who decide to make the choice to adopt and the possible sacrifices to afford it will likely succeed. It might take awhile and it might require a passport and a trip overseas, but it can be done.

We're not "stealing" a baby from an infertile couple, and a couple isn't necessarily qualified nor sufficiently called to be parents (i.e. adopt) simply because they are infertile. An "adoption facilitator" hung up on my wife when she told him we are almost certainly fertile. How sad.

Adoption is an issue that does not exist in isolation. Having children is a family and personal matter but also theological and societal because each child has an impact upon the rest of us.

We don't "have" to adopt; we're neither desperate nor crazy. In fact, precisely because we have alternatives, our child will appreciate our prayerful consideration and deliberate decision to seek him or her for our family. No one will miss the 1.5 children we didn't create, and one child in particular will be quite overjoyed and blessed by our decision.

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