A major criticism that I hear from non-Catholics and from pro-lifers, in particular, is about the Catholic pro-life stance and to be fair, they are right to be critical of us.
Many Catholics are staunchly pro-life, but only seem to be pro-life when it is an unborn child.
This attitude gives the impression of gross hypocrisy ie we only care about babies when they are in utero because we obviously do not need to expend any effort whatsoever in ensuring their safety and well-being.
But if it is a child that is out of the womb, or is now a vulnerable adult, so many hypocritical Catholics all of a sudden become blind, deaf and dumb to the plight of these people.
Your charity is no longer charity when it requires no effort or sacrifice from you.
You cannot claim to be pro-life, but ignore born children, ignore young people whose lives and safety are at risk or vulnerable adults who are being targeted and abused.
Communal narcissists are those who are happy to parade their sanctimonious attitude and virtue, where there is no cost or effort from them.
When it is time to put in some work or make a sacrifice, they are nowhere to be seen.
They are Catholic frauds.
A lot of people who are pro-lifers pick up on this hypocrisy and it is honestly not only causing a scandal to the Church, but it also tarnishes Catholicism and God’s name.
When we claim to be pro-life, a lot of pro-choicers often tell us that if we are truly as pro-life as we claim to be, then we should be prepared to feed, house and pay the medical bills of the unborn child after birth.
So I say: why not?
It is time that we Catholics put our money where our mouth is.
The worst type of Catholic is the type who, through a hypocritical lifestyle turns people AWAY from God instead of towards Him.
God’s judgement would be even greater upon us because we KNOW the truth, but choose not to practice what we profess.
So, I say we take up the challenge put to us by adopting or fostering at least ONE child.
Obviously, not every Catholic will be able to do this.
Catholics who are minors, single, old and infirm, or in religious life will not be able to do this.
However, every single Catholic family, whether or not they have their own biological children, SHOULD adopt and/or foster at least ONE child.
There are many children who need a loving, safe and stable home and what better home and family environment to give them than the home of a Catholic family.
THAT is what true sacrifice is really about!
Now, I might be biased on this because my own mother, even in her 50s, fostered several children…..and this was after raising six of her own children and being a widow.
She still gave a home to many children who were in need and I have fond memories of happy times spent with these additional “sisters” and “brothers” in my childhood.
My mother’s values had such an impact on me that I remember being age 5 and crying when I saw migrant children begging on the streets as traffic drove by.
We would be driving through these streets and I would pull at my mother’s arm, begging her to let us take them home and give them food because they looked so sad.
But one family, let alone one widowed mother, cannot possibly provide a home to ALL the children in need.
However, you can.
And I can.
And the Catholic family in the pew next to you can.
A lot of difference will be made if every single Catholic family worldwide adopts and/or fosters even just ONE child.
In fact, that is what we Catholic families should be known for in society – giving loving family homes to children in need.
If you are a couple struggling to conceive, you never know if God is calling you to sacrifice by adopting a child first before He blesses you with your own biological child.
There are many stories of infertile couples who suddenly became blessed with their own children after they adopted other children.
Don’t selfishly hoard your love, affection and care for only your own biological children (the ones you may already have or the ones you may be hoping to have); offer it all up as a sacrifice by giving to children in need and then watch God bless you and your home immensely.
There is no better time to start than now.
The pandemic and now Russia-Ukraine war has had an effect on people.
Some women may find themselves pregnant, but unable to cope with raising a child; some babies and children may have lost their own parents to disease or war; and some children have had to flee their own country due to upheaval, war and unrest.
These are the children that need us.
These are the children that will be your own children’s bosses, romantic partners and so on in the future.
We don’t want to leave our children in a world full of angry, bitter, hateful, abusive peers of theirs.
In my opinion, every parish should have a ministry for adoption and fostering, so that families can easily and quickly have access to the necessary adoption and fostering resources, information or services.
But even if your parish does not have such a ministry, contact your local government authority and make inquiries or simply get on Google.
What if you are not married or cannot provide a family for a child?
There are other ways you can help single parents and women facing unplanned pregnancies. And if you are discerning married life and hoping to get married and have a family, these activities not only make good practice, but demonstrate to God that you are willing and able to take the future responsibility of a family. Might even speed up the process of God bringing you future spouse
- Visit orphanages
- Read to kids in libraries
- Rock newborn babies in NICU
- Babysit for the families in your parish or neighbourhood
- Donate to local pregnancy centre, food banks or domestic violence shelter.
- Donate to your church and earmark the money to be used to support single parents in your church community.
- Invite a single parent you know over to your house for dinner regularly! It’s great to not have to make dinner when you’re a single parent, & it’s also hard to have the energy to build friendships.
- Offer to cover a specific monthly bill for a single parent you know. Not having to worry about the phone or power bill anymore might be a huge blessing!
- Offer to cover a trip to the grocery store, or give a grocery gift card. Food is expensive!
- Encourage your parish church to set up a ministry for single parents.
We are meant to be PRO-LIFE, not just PRO-BABY.
It is time we started acting that way.
Holy Family, pray for us
Our Lady, Queen of Families, pray for us.
3 thoughts on “Why Every Catholic Family Should Adopt Or Foster”
This is something every Catholic family should prayerfully consider. I’m, unfortunately, the only Catholic in my family, and both hubby and I came from poverty and haven’t been able to move up financially enough to afford to adopt. We can’t foster, either, because our house is too small. (2 bedrooms and 4 biological children). Besides, hubby doesn’t want to do either. Therefore, as a Catholic, my role is to help others. A friend of mine adopted 2 boys from China and I contributed to her adoption fundraisers and spread awareness of it.
One can also look into adopting a newborn from a mother who chose life over abortion.
Even if one can’t do any of that, one can help out a single mother by offering low or no-cost childcare while she works. If that’s not an option, contribute regularly to Catholic charity services that help women in crisis pregnancies, or help others in adopting. There’s so much one can do without throwing up hands and saying it’s too hard. It is hard. The Enemy wants to keep it hard, which is all the more reason why we should strive to do something!
I would love to see a follow up to address an oversight in this otherwise wonderful piece; adopting is not that simple. My wife and I tried to have (biological) children and have lost four. We were often told we could always adopt. When we checked into this we saw this was a convenient lie people would say when they thought “I’m sorry for your loss” felt too cold.
I’m not sure what nationality is most in mind when this piece was written, but it does not fit the United States, where I live and have experience.
You summarized the problem, unknowingly, in the most ironic and perfect of words; “It is time that we Catholics put our money where our mouth is.”
Going through Catholic Adoption Online which seemed to be the most authentic Catholic adoption organization we could find, we were told we would need somewhere in the neighborhood of $50,000, as a minimum, to even consider adoption not counting the costs one would associate with bringing a child into their home (furniture, clothing, toys, etc.). This is for legal fees, “advertising” fees, cost for the adoption agency staffing, cost of living expenses for the birth mother, and other fees one would not expect. Some agencies will offer for closer to $20,000 (not counting the $8000-$16000 estimated legal fees) with no promise of not charging again if anything falls through. Other adoption organizations, many of which seem less genuine, estimate these costs to be upwards of $100,000 if you want a promise of only paying once. Where adoption was once the hope for children in need of a loving family and loving families wanting to grow, it is now a playground for the wealthy.
I know my wife and I would be able to, in terms of money, provide and exceed for all the needs of a child, as we have often calculated the costs prior to facing heartbreak after heartbreak while trying to grow our family. We would love to put our money where our mouth is, but this amount of money is more than most good loving catholic families can dream of affording.
International adoption is not any better or simpler. Countries that care for the welfare of the child typically cost in the same neighborhood prior to requiring extensive time for the prospective parents to be in the child’s country for anywhere from two weeks to upwards of six months to verify the adoption parents are suited for raising a child, which is another near impossibility for all but the most well-to-do.
As for going to the local orphanage; at least in the US these don’t exist. The foster system has taken the place of orphanages, for better and for worse.
If you’re going to advocate for adoption and even (mostly in a good natured way) shame your readers for not being pro-baby at least offer more information on how to beyond just saying to do it. Anyone can tell people they should (or even must) do something if they want to avoid hypocrisy, but it’s unhelpful to offer no resources or wisdom to go with the demand.
Please, I implore you, consider a follow up piece actually looking into adoption. Maybe you can find and bring to better light the resources my wife and I never could that would make this a possibility and not just the words shouted by those who are well meaning.
While we may not all be able to adopt, we can certainly foster even for a short period.
and even IF we cannot do that, there are still many ways we can do our little bit to
help children and single mothers
and i have detailed those here, if you took the time to rad this article.