Easy answers rarely exist when caring for vulnerable children around the world.
Thankfully, hard questions can be used by God to cause us to think more deeply and critically about difficult topics. One frequently asked question:
Is it possible to support international adoption and family preservation simultaneously?
We believe the answer is yes! The needs and situations of children are as unique as the children themselves.
Adoption is a phenomenal gift for children who need the loving support of a family and have no available option. God has used adoption through the centuries to set the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6). Family preservation (also known as orphan prevention) is also a precious gift for families who want to stay together and simply do not have the necessary resources to make it happen.
Here are 3 ways to demonstrate a commitment to family preservation:
1. Support sustainable business overseas.
By supporting farms in Ukraine and Zambia, for instance, adults (including orphan graduates and mothers who are seeking to care for orphaned family members) are able to gain employment and provide for their family.
2. Promote child sponsorship.
The results and impact of child sponsorship are incalculable. For a few dollars each month, people who sponsor a child can provide educational opportunities, spiritual mentoring, medical care, and nutritional food to break the cycle of poverty and keep families intact.
3. Encourage indigenous ministries and projects.
At Plan Escalon School in Honduras, for example, the students learn to give back by supporting families in Honduras through Life in Action, where students reach out to surrounding communities with food, clothing, shoes, and medical supplies. Life in Action makes every donation reach its full potential by targeting communities and individuals who most desperately need help to reestablish themselves and their families.
In a Christianity Today article entitled The Adoption Crusade, Jedd Medefind said it well–
“Every orphan’s story includes tragedy, and bringing healing to tragic circumstances is never simple. We must acknowledge this and talk frankly about hard issues like how to do more to hold fragile families together and how to appropriately honor birthmothers. If we’re serious about loving orphans well, we must do the hard work of study, preparation, and continual recalibration … Christians should lead the way in always pairing compassion with knowledge.”