Playing The Adoption Card

I see the USCCB is playing the adoption card in its latest culturewar adventure:

Catholic foster care and adoption services. Boston, San Francisco, the District of Columbia, and the state of Illinois have driven local Catholic Charities out of the business of providing adoption or foster care services—by revoking their licenses, by ending their government contracts, or both—because those Charities refused to place children with same-sex couples or unmarried opposite-sex couples who cohabit.

What the bishops aren’t providing for you is that list of unnamed dioceses–my own, for example. It’s not because Dubuque has a problem with where kids go, but that the adoption “market” as we knew it two generations ago has dried up in favor of abortion, IVF, surrogate motherhood, international adoptions, the “purchasing” of babies, and even women electing to keep their children. My friends in Catholic charities say that a trickle of available infants are better handled by referrals to other agencies.

They’re also not telling you about the money they take from non-Catholic sources. People who offer money, the government, for example, get to make rules on how it’s spent. You don’t follow the rules, and the money takes a hike.

If the bishops were really worried about ministry to foster children and orphans, they have options. They might consider the needs of the children, and not just view adoption as a cure for childlessness. Millions of Catholic families have the freedom to sign up for home studies. I can tell you that social workers look very favorably on stable families with two traditional parents, plus children in tow. Two-parent households have a proven track record–assuming the kids who live there aren’t themselves candidates for Fostercareworld.

While bureaucrats and bishops bemoan millions of gay and unmarried couples adopting kids, there is a solution. But you’re likely going to have to undertake the care of a special needs child.

That’s not to say that any American–married or not–with money can’t hire the right people, spend the appropriate amount of resources (money plus time) and score an infant. But married couples “buy” into an adoption all the time.

The misinformation and ignorance on the adoption issue alone is making me want to declare myself a conscientious objector to the culturewar’s “Fortnight of Freedom.” Unless, or course, somebody wants to get serious about adoption. I’ve said for years I’ll go anywhere and talk to anybody about how to make a difference as an adoptive parent. Maybe I’ll call it “Fortnight For Free.” Send me a plane or a bus ticket and I’ll talk for free to anybody about adoption. I’ll tell them the story of my family. I’ll tell them how they can support other families. I’ll suggest ways a parish can promote adoption. I’ll tell them that there are likely several couples in the parish who adopted children–and it’s quite possible few people or nobody knows. Big opportunity out there, and a half-million kids in foster care tell me the nation hasn’t woken up yet. Not even the so-called pro-life movement.

As for this poor-persecuted-me schtick, please! John Fisher and Thomas More never whined. These guys were deprived of life, not just a few grant dollars. Linking this freedomfest to martyrs is crass and daft.

There are plenty of things to celebrate the two weeks between the Fisher-More feast and Independence Day. I think maybe I’ll focus on the Scripture and the saints. And leave the political tussles out of it.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in Adoption, Church News, Ministry, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Playing The Adoption Card

  1. Liam says:

    Todd, “white martyrdom” has gotten as cheap as USDA-subsidized corn.

  2. Ben Story @ntwrk80 says:

    Being one of those that has the “freedom to sign up for home studies”, I can say that we would love to adopt, but we can’t afford to do it. We can afford to take care of a child, but the up front costs are overwhelming.

  3. Todd says:

    Ben, that is one reason (though not the only one) why my wife and I chose to adopt a special needs child through the state. We wouldn’t have been able to afford those costs, not without the help of my employer.

  4. Jimmy Mac says:

    Well, maybe it is time for Catholic Charities to re-become CATHOLIC Charities again – not Government Funding Pass-through Charities.

    If you take the Queen’s shilling, then you will have to do the Queen’s bidding.

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