Adoption is not a miracle


mir·a·cle: An extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause. (

Are we clear on this? Miracles are from God alone and cannot be explained by human reasoning. Some miracles mentioned in the bible, in no particular order:

  • Manna from heaven
  • Parting the Red Sea
  • The Virgin Birth
  • Jesus turning water into wine
  • The widow’s never-ending oil and flour
  • Jesus curing the blind
  • Jesus raising the dead

In the Old Testament, God executed miracles through the prophets. In the New Testament, disciples of Christ performed miracles in Jesus’ name. Nowhere does it say, “And Mordecai adopted his cousin Esther and raised her as his daughter, and it was a miracle.” Or, “And the pharaoh’s daughter named the baby Moses, and took him as her own, and it was a miracle, because he was a Hebrew slave and she was an Egyptian princess.” Not even, “And by a miracle, God gave us the spirit of adoption, so we are brothers and sisters in Christ.”

When it’s a miracle, you know. Telltale signs are talking shrubs on fire that do not burn up, your donkey suddenly being able to speak, or the heavenly host appearing in the sky singing God’s praises.

If there is nothing even remotely supernatural about it, it’s not a miracle. No matter how wonderful you think it is, God did not do it. God did not “put the baby in the wrong mommy’s tummy” and predestine you to have that child. You did that, with the help of an adoption agency, for money.

What’s wrong with calling it a miracle? Why can’t I just be nice about it? Because I don’t like cheapening God. Calling man-made adoption a miracle is trying to pass it off as God-ordained. That is a lie. And if I recall correctly, God hates lies.

I also do not like messing with little kids’ heads. Making them think they were created to fulfill their adoptive parents’ needs/desires/prayers is sick. These are human beings with biological ties to other people, possibly other cultures, but so many Christians turn a blind eye. They play “White Savior”, willingly believing whatever story is spun. (“She was left on the side of the road in a cardboard box.” – “His mother died at birth.” – “They’re languishing in an orphanage.”) They are determined to “grow their family through adoption,” saying God called them. They have fundraisers to “bring our child home” complete with heartwarming web posts about how “their” child is already calling them Mommy and Daddy via Skype.

I am not saying these couples do not love these kids. Or that the adoptees do not grow to love their adoptive parents. I am saying: If adoption was so noble, you wouldn’t have to lie about it.

Tell the truth. You wanted a child, you found one (or two, or a dozen), either in some faraway land or locally, and you did whatever you had to do to make that child yours. That is not a miracle. That is the modern day adoption industry.

Elle Cuardaigh is author of The Tangled Red Thread



17 thoughts on “Adoption is not a miracle

  1. I would agree that adoption isn’t a miracle, but I would say that it an be an amazing option for those who can’t have kids. The adoption industry is a crazy business. I work for an agency, but our mission is to lower the costs of adoption to make it more affordable for those who want to have children… along side, we’re reaching out to birth mothers before and after their delivery. I think adoption is simply a biblical thing that God created that we don’t execute in the nature very well (agencies charging 20K + birth mother fees)

    Good thoughts 🙂

    • Adoption is also not biblical. There is nothing in the bible that resembles modern-day adoption.

      And thank you, as someone who works for an adoption agency, for saying that it is an industry and business. Because that’s exactly what it is.

      • Moses and Jesus were both adopted and we’ve all been adopted into the family of God according to Romans 8:15. There are several references concerning care for orphans. God has been referred to as the father of the fatherless… meaning there is some sort of adoption that takes place.

        Adoption is a biblical thing, BUT BUT BUT BUT the government doesn’t have a very biblical way of doing it. It’s turned into the business of selling kids. This is where we struggle as an agency because there are these rules and regulations we have to follow.

        My agency is a non-profit ministry and I raise my own finances to work there… none of us get a real paycheck. We want to see the adoption process change for the better… for both adoptive parents AND birth parents.

      • And….what about making it better for the adoptees?

        Moses and Jesus were not adopted the way adoption is practiced now. You have got to concede to that. Moses’ mother did not “make an adoption plan”. She was trying to forestall her son’s murder by hiding him. And you’ll notice Moses was not a Good Adoptee. Rather ungrateful, don’t you think? Coming back to lead his original people to destroy his adopters?

        As for being adopted by God: Are our records sealed?

        This is something I talk about in my book, because I had to come to grips with it in confirmation class. We are spiritually adopted by God. The Adoption Industry of the Christian flavor likes to use this verse to rationalize what they do, as if being brothers and sisters in Christ means it’s godly to separate children from their origins. It’s not.

      • Well, it seems that there’s no right or just answer to the problem. I hope, that in your findings, that you are able to find a better solution to the problem.

        From personal experience…. I’m adopted. After meeting my birth mother (who is kind and caring) and seeing the possible life I could have lived… I’m grateful for her decision. I wouldn’t have had the same opportunities and I would have grown up without a dad. For that I’m thankful.

        Take care and best of wishes to you and your book! 🙂

      • nothing to add. This article plus Caroline’s comment says it all. A real miricle would be when people who could profit by an adoption (either because they work for an agency, they want to raise a child themselves or they want a friend/family member to be able to raise a child) but Still help a loving but vulnerable family stay together. When people can be selfLESS enough to turn their back on the opportunity to exploit because they respect the child and his/her family then they are truly being Christ like. Naturally there are children who do need families. Many many thousands in each state currently in the foster care system. Money should never enter the picture and it doesn’t have to if you are ethically adopting a truly needy child because those children are coming to you through the foster care system and each state has programs which cover the costs of those adoptions.

    • Why is it about “those who want to have children”? Isn’t that BACKWARDS??? Shouldn’t it be about a child who has no one and NEEDS a home. It’s gotten to be about the adults wanting a child… SMH — ass backwards….

  2. Family love and affection are not miracles, and yeah, they absolutely do happen in many, maybe most, adoption cases. I love my (adoptive) family. But I always hated the idea that I was somehow an answer to someone else’s prayers. That’s a lot of pressure for a kid! Especially when that “answer” turned out to be so damn complicated and required trauma for me.

    I was raised Catholic. I am an atheist as an adult. I am reasonably sure that one of my stumbling blocks in believing in my parents’ God is that their version of God really screwed up. If I was “meant” to be with the parents who raised me, should not an all-powerful deity have just, I don’t know, let me be born there? Rather than to someone else who I didn’t get to see for more than 30 years?

    THIS struck me: “Making them think they were created to fulfill their adoptive parents’ needs/desires/prayers is sick.” It is.

    • I am thankful (note: thankful, not grateful) that my adoptive parents never laid this line on me. You’re right–it’s way too much pressure to be a miracle. I am reminded of Jennifer Lauck’s story in “Blackbird”. She was brought up being called the miracle that saved her adoptive mother’s life. Her condition supposedly went into remission after they brought her home. Then her mother died. What did Jennifer think? That she had failed. That it was her fault. She was only seven years old and she carried this horrible burden. No one thought anything of it. No one ever put two and two together and thought, “Wow, maybe we should talk to Jenny about her adoption.”

      I wondered if any of the people who called Jenny a miracle now considered her a “failed adoption” because her adoptive mother was dead.

  3. The last church I attended was big on adoption. BIG. The last year I was there, active in “leadership”, 4 girls I knew got pregnant. Three immediately “decided” they were giving up their babies for adoption. Three of them already had a child. Two were pregnant by the same guy the second time. The church was overly supportive of the adoptions. The adoptive parents were also church members. They got all involved in each others lives. The birth moms spent a lot of time with the adoptive parents from early in their pregnancies. Many pictures were taken. The adopting parents were at the births. Church people were “supportive” all along, up to being at the hospital for the “hand off”. The birth moms were treated like heroes. Phrases like “I was able to bless a couple with a baby” were often used.

    What concerned me so much was that the children they already had got attached to these siblings during the pregnancy, and in post birth visits. You can tell a 4 yo all day long that the baby won’t be living with them, but can they really understand that? There will come a time when these adoptive families won’t want the birth mom around all the time. I doubt they still get together for mani/pedis. And the church’s support seemed to wain after the birth. They do have a large single moms ministry for the ones that were already moms, but that’s not the level of “support” they had before the birth. That pre-birth support was just to keep these girls from thinking twice about keeping their babies. It was God’s plan…

    The one who did not go for adoption was one who’d already had a child w/ the same dad. She was really pressured to give her baby up. It was a real fight for her. I made sure she knew I supported her emotionally, but no one tried to help her in other ways. She’s the one I am proudest of. She stood her ground. She did not want to give up her baby, most especially since her children were full siblings. She mustered through, with some support from the dad. We’d see him with her now & again. When that baby was 6 months old, they married and to my knowledge they are still together today.

    All to say that if you can help a woman go through adoption, why can’t you help her be a single parent? Cannot that love, compassion, and finance work either way? These babies were not orphans. They did not need a new family. The birth moms that chose adoption were held up on a pedestal, while the single mom who kept her child was pressured all along to not keep her baby. And her family is intact.

  4. Sometimes babies really are left in a box. Or a trash bag, like my friend’s son. Just because some adoptive parents were lied to doesn’t mean they all were.

    I agree that adoption isn’t a miracle, usually. I also agree that parents shouldn’t lie to their kids. Agencies shouldn’t lie to birth mothers, or to extended family. But let’s also tell the truth that the baby in the trash bag would have died if no one took care of him.

    • if the child was adopted from inside the U.S and your friend has proof through the police, the courts and the media (all of which I would expect if he really was left in a trash bag) then apparently it is true and it’s wonderful that the child found a good family. But, if this was an international adoption (although certainly not impossible) I wouldn’t be too quick to believe it. It’s very typical of what people adopting internationally are told. Here’s a link to information on corruption from many source nations. I hope you will take a moment to read “The Lie We Love” which is available here as well.

    • This comment reminds me of the #NotAllMen backlash to #YesAllWomen. My point is (still) that is wrong to use extreme examples to justify the wholesale commodification of children. And then for the adoption industry (not you, christinenlester) to take it a step further and give God’s stamp of approval is just beyond the pale.

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