The True Cost of Adoption: a Biblical perspective


I want to put the many costs of adoption in a Biblical perspective. My belief is adoption is a pure reflection of what God did for us by making a way for us to be part of His family. “His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:5 NLT).

I understand that for many, the financial cost of adoption is overwhelming. It is more than many families think that they can afford, but time and time again I have seen God provide in amazing ways. If we believe that God owns it all, can we then trust His provision – financial or otherwise? For some, God does provide; our Financial Resources Coordinator raised $60,000 and was able to adopt two children. For others, God requires us to sacrifice. Like I asked earlier, if $30,000 would save the live of someone we loved, wouldn’t most of us figure out a way to find the money. Many people have no problem spending that much or more on a car. Which will leave a lasting impact? In addition to adoption loans, there are grants that can be available to many families who want to adopt, although it will cost time to complete the applications.

If we truly believe that God owns it all, the money needed really is not ours. I am not suggesting foolishly entering in to adoption without any type of financial plan and expecting a check to drop in our hands. I am talking about money we have stored for tomorrow; the Lord’s prayer models praying for our daily bread, not having daily bread for 20 years in advance. I have had some families literally balk when I mention a 401(k) or cashing in stock as an option to finance an adoption. When this happens, I am reminded of the parable in Luke 12:16-21 (NLT)

"A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. In fact, his barns were full to overflowing. So he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store everything. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get it all?’ "Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God."

The process is different for every family, but God never promised us a life of fairness. If we trust Him, He promises in Romans 8:28, “all things work together for the good of those called according to His purpose.” When things are not progressing as a family expects, I share my personal belief that God has predestined our children. Jeremiah 29:10 says, “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD”. Sometimes the child adopted is not the one we think it will be; those who persevere usually understand the purpose in the end. There are also times when I feel at the end of my rope with one of my children and parenting them; at that point, I remember that God brought us together and He will give me what it takes to parent. It is a sometimes painful process but one that stretches me and helps me grow, especially when I think of how the relationship compares to the one God has with us.

If we really compare what Jesus did for us and what we have the opportunity to do for the waiting children, our cost is much less than His. Galations 5:6 may express it best, “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” Do you think that Jesus stopped to count the costs as He prepared to do what it took to allow us to be adopted children of God? Was it comfortable on the cross? Was it too hard for Him to handle? Was His time less valuable? Was the cost too great?

Lydia Tarr works as the International Program Director for MLJ Adoptions’ programs in Bulgaria and Ukraine. She is the adoptive mother of four children from Ukraine and was recognized as a 2013 Angel in Adoption by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s (CCAI) Angels in Adoption Program.