Some said the parents thought the children they had adopted were demon-possessed. The story was that they’d tried exorcism, and couldn’t drive the devils out. The parents say the story was nothing quite so supernatural. The children displayed severe mental and emotional trauma, they claim, to the point that they feared for the safety of their other children, so they sent them to live with another family.
I can’t judge from here who’s right or wrong in the particular case of reports surrounding why Arkansas state Rep. Justin Harris (R) gave away his adopted child. I just know this story is all too familiar.
Every few weeks or so, it seems, I hear of another family on the verge of “disruption,” the term used to describe families relinquishing back to the system children they have adopted. As with divorce, in some of these situations, there is no alternative to the tragic outcome. But as with divorce, in other cases, many of the adoptions did not need the nuclear option.
As a Christian, I believe every part of the church is called to care for widows and orphans.
Those of us who advocate on behalf of children in need of parents, whether in religious communities or advocacy groups or in government agencies, should make clear from the beginning the high stakes involved in adoption and foster care. The only thing worse than a family shirking their duty to vulnerable orphans is a family adopting when they’re not equipped to do so after being made aware of all of the risks involved. Jesus tells us, after all, that only a foolish king goes out to a war with an army he doesn’t have.
Our culture all too often fear children who have been adopted. While the demon angle of this story may or may not be fabricated, I have heard of a television evangelist suggesting that children adopted from overseas might have demons attached to them. This sort of orphan paranoia isn’t just from those who are religious. I have been told by secular “progressive” parents that they don’t want to adopt because they are afraid the child might “turn out to have something wrong with her.”
These fears are unfounded, as the large numbers of well-adjusted children in American culture, adopted at all stages of life, demonstrate. But we could also easily overreact to the bias against adopted kids with a picture of adoption that is overly sentimental, gauzing over very real heartache that can come with adoption.
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SOURCE: The Washington Post