When a Child Can No Longer Be Cared For

Few of us as parents wish to even think about the possibility of not being able to raise our own children. Unfortunately, bad things do happen in this world, most of which are out of our control. We could be killed in an accident, or left unable to provide the needed care for our children. Many Christians put off thinking about these possibilities until it is too late. Then decisions are made in a panic because time is short. Sometimes the government steps in to "solve" the problem, but because the governments goals are not the same as yours, the solution creates extreme problems for the children.

When an unmarried woman finds herself pregnant

It is a sin to have sexual relations outside of wedlock (see "Why Sex Outside of Marriage is Wrong", but there are times when people don't listen to the wisdom of God and cave into temptation. Our society offers "quick fix solutions" by encouraging women to abort the child. Emphasis is focused on the convience of the woman and no thought is given to the child developing in her womb.

Sometimes a woman finds herself the victim of rape. Convential "wisdom" tells the woman that she doesn't want to have a reminder of her violation, nor does she need to "suffer" by bringing an unwanted child to term. It almost goes without second thought that a child produced by a rape should be aborted.

However, the offer of terminating the pregnancy is an attempt to fix one wrong with another. Abortion is the termination of a human life (see "To Choose or Not to Choose"). As Paul state, "And why not say, "Let us do evil that good may come"? --as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just" (Romans 3:8). Evil doesn't fix evil. The murder of an innocent life doesn't produce greater good in the world.

The sad fact is that there is so much good that can be accomplished in these difficult circumstances. There are an endless number of couples who long for a child but cannot have one on their own. There are also couples with large hearts who enjoy children so much that they are willing to open their homes to any child. I see it all the time. Word is sent out that a home is needed for a child and the preacher relaying the message is literally flooded with offers to take the child in. With so many wanting children to love, the act of aborting a child becomes an act of extreme selfishness. The mother's convinence for a few months is placed far above the life of a child or the joy of fellow Christians.

Placing a child up for adoption, while not trivial, is not difficult. Several avenues are available to a woman. Just remember that in many states the father of the child has some rights as well. It is best if the father of the child also agrees to the adoption and signs the necessary paperwork.

State agencies will place an unwanted child in a home. The largest draw back is that once the child is signed over the agency, the mother loses all say in the ultimate placement of the child. You might state that you want your child placed in a home of members of your church, and the social worker involved might even lead you to believe it can be arranged, but it almost never happens. Government workers have come to believe that religion doesn't matter. They are simply happy to place a child. Who the child is placed with is secondary. Is not that they truly don't care, the fact is that most state agencies are overwhelmed with work and they are rated by the speed in which a child is placed. A big advantage with state placement is that the mother and the adopting family usually have little or no expenses. A big disadvantage is that the adopting parents must attend state run child rearing classes which heavily promote worldly ideas as to how a child should be raised. The fact that these ideas often conflict with centuries of practical wisdom and with the teachings found in the Bible are of no consequence. But the adoptive parents are asked to give lip service to the ideas before they are allowed to adopt. It is for this reason that many members of the church do no like to use state agencies for finding a child. Another disappointment is because of the nature of government arranged adoptions, most birth mothers turn to private agencies instead. This results in the state dealing with hard to place children, such as children born to a mother who is on drugs. Most prospective adoptive parents are unwilling to deal with newborns who come with medical problems. To offset these issues, most states offer to help pay a portion of the cost of raising a child adopted through their agencies.

Private agencies are governed by the states, but have more freedom in arranging placements. Often the mother of the child is able to give input as to which family she would prefer her child to be in from a list of prospective families. But, depending on the agency, the choice of where your child will finally go is not completely in your hands. Generally the private agency has the adopting family cover the cost of having a child, along with its overhead fees. There is no payment for the child himself as that would be viewed as buying a baby. Even so, medical costs are high and since insurance is not involved the adopting family faces a large expense when they say will take in a child. It is unfortunate, but it means that poorer families, though able to raise a child, are shut out of the system because of the expense. Some private agencies offer a sliding expense scale based on the adoptive parents' income. They make up for short-falls from private and governmental funds. Adoptive parents who adopt through a private agency will not receive financial assistence for the cost of raising a child. The following article details the potential costs in adopting a child in the United States: See "Domestic Adoption Costs."

Adoptions can also be arranged privately without the involvement of an agency. You usually need a lawyer to help you file the correct paperwork. The costs are completely negoiated between the mother and the adoptive parents. While a child cannot be purchased from the mother, it is proper and expected that the adoptive parents help pay for the mother's medical costs associated with having a child and the legal fees for the necessary paperwork. Sometimes the mother might have insurance that covers much of the medical costs. See "Domestic Adoption Costs" for a list of typical reimbursments. Generally, adoptions by relatives to the mother are considered easier that adoptions by unrelated couples.

When parents are severely disabled or die.

Rescuing a child from a disfunctional parent