Amoris Laetitia 180: The Fruitfulness of Adoption

amoris laetitia memeI followed the two synods on the family and last year’s world meeting in Philadelphia with some interest on this dear-to-my-heart topic. I’ve been largely disappointed with the institutional church not because I think it to be in error. I find the Magisterium’s approach to be incomplete and not deeply considered where the welfare of parentless children are concerned. Pope Francis cites the final document from the 2015 synod:

180. “The choice of adoption and foster care expresses a particular kind of fruitfulness in the marriage experience, and not only in cases of infertility. In the light of those situations where a child is desired at any cost, as a right for one’s self-fulfillment, adoption and foster care, correctly understood, manifest an important aspect of parenting and the raising of children. They make people aware that children, whether natural, adoptive or taken in foster care, are persons in their own right who need to be accepted, loved and cared for, and not just brought into this world. The best interests of the child should always underlie any decision in adoption and foster care”.(Relatio Finalis 2015, 65) On the other hand, “the trafficking of children between countries and continents needs to be prevented by appropriate legislative action and state control”.(Ibid.)

Important takeaways here:

  • “not only in cases of infertility”
  • Adoption is not about the “right” of adults, but about the responsibility to those in need. Framing adoption as a solution for childless couples is not a far cry from suggesting that soup kitchens serve to release the inner chef of the well-off.
  • Many nations are concerned about the adoption of their children to overseas couples. I confess mixed feelings on this. I have known many fine people who have adopted children from Asia, Russia, South America, and Africa. They have nurtured and loved young people who were languishing in orphanages without much hope of First World life. Now they have it. A half-million American kids are stuck in foster care without much hope of a permanent family until they marry.

Your thoughts on any of this?

For your reference, remember that Amoris Laetitia is online here.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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One Response to Amoris Laetitia 180: The Fruitfulness of Adoption

  1. Melody says:

    Of course “trafficking” needs to be prevented. But there is a reason why prospective parents pursue foreign adoptions which isn’t mentioned. I know of several couples who adopted from a foreign country because it was less likely than in a domestic adoption that the birth parents would change their minds before the adoption was finalized. Indeed the birth parents were likely not in the picture if the child was in an orphanage. I am assuming that if there were available adoptive parents in the country of origin, that they would be given preference. But if none came forward, a nation’s offended pride in having “their” children adopted by foreign parents should take second place to the child’s need for a family.

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