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Thinking about—and Loving—Birthmothers

The latest edition of Towers—a publication of Southern Seminary—has a nice overview of the recent Adopting for Life conference (see also Russell Moore’s reflections.)

Below is their write-up regarding my seminar talk (audio not available) on some very basic principles for thinking about birthmothers. Nothing profound or earth-shattering here; just an encouragement to return to the basic principles of seeking God’s glory and loving our neighbors.

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[Taylor] reminded those considering adoption that the child is not the only person in need of ministry. “It is very easy for us to get wrapped up in ourselves, in our own story and to forget that there is a birthmother who is hurting, who is created in the image of God and who wants the best for this child,” he said. “She is not choosing abortion, she is choosing life.”

“We need to constantly remind ourselves that we need to be driven by love for God and love for neighbor. And your neighbor is anybody who gets put in your path. To try and put yourself in the birthmother’s shoes and see things from her eyes and be loving and sensitive to her (is important).”

Taylor focused on domestic adoptions, as all three of his adoptions have been domestic. He encouraged couples to use the questions “What does the Word say?” “What is the situation?” and “Who are the people involved?” to guide them in correctly applying scriptural principles.

The first thing adopting couples should have in mind is the glory of God, Taylor said.

“Is the option that I am choosing going to glorify and honor God? Is the way that I am responding and thinking about this a God-glorifying way of acting? Just asking the question is half the battle,” he said.

Love of neighbor is a second key category to have in mind, Taylor said. Taylor reminded couples that each situation is different and exhorted them to trust in the sovereignty of God. He also noted that every situation, though diff erent, will always involve sin and sinners.

“Don’t be surprised if you experience suffering and if you come face to face with sin,” he said. “You are sinful. So, what you have with every adoption is sinful people adopting a sinful child who was conceived by sinful parents. There is sin there and there is also grace for every moment. As beautiful as adoption is, we have to remember that if there was no Fall there would be no adoption.”

Taylor briefly spoke of three different types of relationships with the birth parents — confidential, open, or semi-open — and directed people to the website of Bethany Christian Services Adoption & Orphan Care Agency — www.bethany.org — for more details on those different options.

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