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Adoption

Adoption - Family Completed By Adoption

Through no fault of their own, thousands of children and youth are in government care and in need of a permanent home and family. It’s estimated that 30,000 children in government care are eligible for adoption in Canada.

As Christians, we have been adopted into God’s family through Christ. Adoption is a key concept in our faith and a natural expression of it. 

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November is adoption awareness month. Individuals and churches can raise the profile of adoption and foster care in November and throughout the year. The EFC encourages churches to hold Adoption Sunday and offers many resources for your church to help highlight adoption at AdoptionSunday.com
 

Adoption welcomes a child or young person into a permanent, loving family. There are several types of adoption. Public adoption refers to a child or youth in the Canadian child welfare system. Private adoption is arranged by a private agency. Kinship adoption refers to the adoption of a relative that includes guardianship and custom care arrangements. International adoption involves a child or youth from a country outside of Canada.

Adoption services fall under the responsibility of the provinces and territories, although the federal government plays a role in international adoption. Each province and territory has its own adoption process, rules, eligibility and administrative structure. The provinces and territories follow the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption that Canada ratified in 1996.

Canadians can embrace a fresh vision of adoption and the care of all children to ensure that no child is left without a family to call their own.  Many estimate there are 30,000 children and youth in Canada’s child welfare system who are legally eligible to be adopted, who may spend their childhoods without a family and permanent home. Canada lacks a central information database on the number of children in government care and awaiting adoption, although some data is collected on international adoptions. There is a critical need for adoptive families, yet adoption recruitment is significantly underfunded, with only  1% of Family Service budgets focusing on adoption recruitment.

Many youth who age out of the child welfare system face life without the support of a family and are at significantly higher risk of homelessness, low-income, exploitation and premature loss of life.
 

Every person is created by God, in his image, and loved by Him.  Each person’s life has inherent worth and dignity (Gen. 1:26-27; John 3:16).  Human dignity does not depend on our ability or circumstances; it flows from our creation in the image of God. We treat all people as bearers of God’s image, no matter their age.
 
The EFC’s support for adoption and fostering is anchored in a long-standing affirmation of the sanctity of human life. The Declaration on Human Life, signed in 1987, called for active support of those involved in parenting and in the adoption and fostering of children, as an outworking of the inherent worth of each person.
 
We are created to live in families and form communities that care for each other and serve those in need. As Christians, adoption is a key theological doctrine of our faith and hope, as we have been adopted into God’s family through Christ (Romans 8:14-17; I Corinthians 13). We are to emulate Christ’s love through  adoption toward others, treating others as brothers and sisters.
 
A family is called to care for its members physically, emotionally and spiritually as it enables them to serve God, other people and creation. Children are a gift and a blessing. Parents have the privilege and responsibility of leading children to know God and his ways, as well as the world around them (Deut. 11:19). 
 
God calls us to care for those who are vulnerable, especially putting children in the centr of  family and community life(Mark 9).  In both the Old and New Testaments, the people of Israel and followers of Jesus were commanded to care for foreigners, widows, those without parents and the poor. Another parable tells us that when we serve the vulnerable in our society, we are serving Christ (Matthew 25:34-36). 
 

Pray

  • that we would affirm the dignity and worth of all children in word and deed
  • that  vulnerable children and youth would be a top priority in our homes, churches, governments  and society
  • that we would be present, in a range of ways, for children and youth needing a permanent, loving  home and for youth aging out of government care
  • that we would be compassionate and welcoming for children and youth in care, and for families in crisis

Get involved

  • Raise awareness of adoption and fostering
  • Support the initiatives of local children’s and family services agencies (e.g. snowsuit, pyjama and Teddy Bear campaigns),  pregnancy care centres  and other agencies as an individual, family, church or community
  • Promote education on issues facing children and youth both in and outside of government care and  those waiting to come home through the process of adoption
  • Ask your church leaders to promote adoption and fostering using AdoptionSunday.com resources, especially during November
  • Ask your legislator to:
    • Consider the impact of government policies and programs on  vulnerable children and youth
    • Strengthen the protection of children
    • Collect and make accessible to the public, data on the the numbers and needs of children and youth in government care
    • Launch a public awareness campaign to promote permanency planning for Canadian children and youth, including Indigenous children and youth within their communities
    • Support National Adoption Awareness Initiatives such as AdoptionSunday.com
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