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Take a positive approach to adoption

08 November 2013


From Dr Ruth Grayson

Sir, - The main reason why people are put off adopting children is summed up in the strapline of the article "Children matter more than prejudices" (Comment, 1 November) with the words "negative images".

As an adoptive parent myself, I feel it would be more useful for the Church to take a lead in promoting a positive rather than a moralising approach to the issue.

Many people see adoption as a last resort in an attempt to have or extend a family. Indeed, social workers often aggravate that feeling by enquiring into "problems" in "having your own children". It is time to challenge this, and to suggest that adoption may be a priority for some prospective parents. Adoption is a natural process - we know this because animals do it - compared with techniques such as IVF and surrogacy, on which the Church seems to remain silent.

Of course there may be problems with adopted or fostered children. There are problems in raising one's "birth children", too. As always, it is the problems that make the news. But, instead of quoting chapter and verse to convince Christians that they may be duty-bound to adopt or foster a child, perhaps the Church could better promote its case by pointing out that our Lord himself was adopted by his human father.

National Adoption Day could be celebrated on 19 March, St Joseph's Day.

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