It’s National Adoption Month. Here at Family Policy Alliance, adoption means a lot to us: it’s a critical part of who we are both as individuals and as an organization. Here are 3 reasons why.
- Adoption is an important part of our pro-life, pro-family vision.At Family Policy Alliance, we believe that every person has inherent value that is worth honoring from the moment of their conception till the moment of their natural death. That’s why we take a strong stand on both abortion and end-of-life issues: No person should be denied a fair chance at life, regardless of the circumstances of their conception, their physical ability, their sex, or any other characteristic. Every life matters. Period.But while many legislative battles happen surrounding the first and last years of life, we don’t only care about those two points in a person’s life. We sincerely believe that every person’s life matters – and that they should not only have a chance at life, but that they should have the chance to be loved by a family as God envisioned it. That’s what adoption is—giving a child the chance to be part of a loving family, regardless of the circumstances of the family they were born into. It’s an opportunity for love to transform both child and parent. And supporting it is one way we can tangibly be pro-life from conception through life to natural death.
- Faith-based adoption is at risk.Historically, Christians have led the way in adoption, seeing it as a privilege and as a Biblical command (James 1:27). In ancient culture, it was not uncommon for parents to abandon baby girls simply because they were girls. Often it was the church that rescued those precious infants. Over the centuries, Christians have continued to care for orphans in numerous ways, and that holds true today. One 2013 study revealed that practicing Christians were more than twice as likely to adopt than the general adult population.And there’s great need for adoption (and foster care) right here in America. As of April 2019, an estimated 443,000 children were in the U.S. foster care system. That’s significant. Those children could replace the population of Minneapolis. Of those, over 123,000 are considered to be available for or awaiting adoption. Each of those children is precious. And many Christians are eager to adopt or care for them!Sadly, though, faith-based adoption and foster care agencies are under attack. As some localities begin to include sexual orientation and gender identity in their nondiscrimination laws, those laws can be used as a weapon against faith-based agencies and families, the very people who are statistically more likely to adopt than the general population. Why? Because as matters of faith and conscience, they may decline to tell a girl that she is a boy or they may try to place children in homes with one mother and one father. These simple principles – driven by faith and the best intentions for children – do not align with radical LGBT ideology, and local governments may ask agencies to either violate their consciences or stop serving children in their communities.That’s not right, and the issue is so important it went before the Supreme Court earlier this month. You can read a little about that case here. We pray for an outcome that affirms the right of these foster agencies and families to live according to their consciences while serving children in need.
- Adoption is critical to who we are as Christians.Most importantly, adoption is critical to our identity as followers of Christ. We believe that without the hope of the Gospel, we are spiritual orphans, eternally separated from God, and unable to get to him on our own, much less to participate in his kingdom or inheritance.Yet we rejoice that God, in his love and mercy, sent his Son to live and die on our behalf and to raise him from the dead so that we could be called children of God. As Paul says in Galatians 4:4-6, “…God sent forth his Son … so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying ‘Abba! Father!’”By his grace alone, we can call God our father. We can share in the eternal inheritance and glorious kingdom he has for his children. We can live not as orphans, but as the fully loved children of God through his gift of adoption.That’s why adoption means so much to us. Some of us have taken part in an earthly adoption process. All of us rejoice in our spiritual adoption as children of God.
As you may know, we often like to conclude our emails with some call to action, often of a political nature. But this time, our call is a more contemplative one. In this National Adoption Month, would you prayerfully consider how the Lord would have you involved in adoption, whether spiritual or physical? Perhaps he’s called you to adopt a child or support a family or agency involved in that process. Perhaps he wants you to embrace the spirit of adoption that you have as a follower of Christ—to know that you are fully loved and can live with the freeing knowledge that you will inherit a heavenly kingdom. Or perhaps, you realize that you can’t call yourself a child of God – and God is just waiting for you to ask him.
We praise God that he adopts us, and that we at Family Policy Alliance can share in that vision of adoption – both spiritual and on earth as it is heaven.
Policy and Communications Strategist
As we approach the end of 2018, it’s amazing to look back and see the victories—all of which you made possible through your prayers and support of Family Policy Alliance and our state allies. Thank you!
1. For Life!
This past year, there have been huge steps forward in the pro-life movement on both the national and state fronts. President Trump listened to your voice and is standing up for the rights of the preborn. Whether or not you voted for this President, his stand for life is unparalleled in recent administrations.>/mark>
President Trump became the first sitting president to address the March for Life. Under his administration, the Department of Health and Human Services is working to finalize a new rule that prevents taxpayer’s dollars (through Title X family planning funds) from going to abortion providers. These Title X dollars are currently Planned Parenthood’s second-largest funding stream. He reinstated and expanded the “Mexico City Policy” that blocks $9 billion in foreign aid from being used for abortions. And with his first nominee to the Supreme Court, Justice Gorsuch, the Court dismantled an unconstitutional law passed by California that would have forced pro-life pregnancy centers to become advertisers for the abortion industry.
Because of your support, states are continuing to creatively chip away at Roe v. Wade with new laws that protect women’s health, increase requirements on abortion providers to ensure they are taking care of women and recognize the humanity of preborn babies.
Idaho passed a law that requires health care professionals to report information about complications from abortions. Nebraska passed a law that provides birth certificates to families who have lost babies through a miscarriage. Eight states have passed laws that ban dismemberment abortions. Over 20 states ban abortion past a certain number of weeks based on the ability of the preborn baby to feel pain.
A recent initiative seeks to ban abortions based on a Down syndrome or disability diagnosis. Ohio and Louisiana passed this type of law, and several other states considered bills. This happened largely because people of faith like you have shared your stories about how people with disabilities have shaped lives for good.
“Whether a child is diagnosed with Down syndrome before or after birth, disability rights start at diagnosis. All human life should be valued and respected— especially in the womb. And the targeting of babies solely for the possible diagnosis of Down syndrome should not be permitted here in Pennsylvania,” said Michael Geer, president of Family Policy Alliance’s state ally, Pennsylvania Family Institute.
Idaho and Indiana passed bills that require information about abortion-pill reversals be available to women. Over a dozen states have cut taxpayer funding streams from Planned Parenthood.
There is still much to be done in protecting life in our country, but because of your voice—joined with the voices of other biblical citizens—leaders in our country are listening and taking action.
2. The Heart of Adoption
Most of us believe strongly in the right of Christians to live out our biblical citizenship by looking after orphans—children in need of loving parents. This is why thousands of biblical citizens like you urged state legislatures, through email and phone calls, to protect the constitutional rights of faith-based adoption agencies—so those agencies can do what they excel at: placing hard-to-place children in forever families.
Your efforts resulted in a spectacular victory in Kansas this past session. LGBT lobbyists poured money into Topeka, and the leading national LGBT advocacy organization even sent its president to convince legislators to vote against religious freedom for private, faith-based adoption agencies—even if that meant those agencies would have to shut their doors rather than violate their beliefs. Family Policy Alliance of Kansas rallied pro-family Kansans to speak up—resulting in not only a win for children who need homes, but also a win for religious freedom. Similar laws also passed in Oklahoma, Texas and South Dakota, again thanks to biblical citizenship!
3. Keeping the Gospel Free in California
California’s wildly controversial legislation, AB 2943, targeted religious beliefs in a truly unprecedented manner. It would have prohibited millions of people from purchasing services and resources that declare the power of Christ can overcome unwanted same-sex attraction and gender identity struggles. This bill was passed by the California Assembly and Senate, and was one formality away from being signed by the Governor. In an astonishing twist that no one anticipated, Assemblyman Evan Low pulled his own bill after tens of thousands of biblical citizens from California and across the nation reached out to him to share stories of hope and change.
Jonathan Keller, the executive director of our state ally California Family Council, which worked tirelessly to keep the Gospel free in California, declared, “We are inexpressibly grateful to Assemblyman Low for meeting personally with faith leaders over the last several months and sincerely listening to our concerns.” Praise God!
4. Protecting Male and Female
The Gender Identity issue continues to sweep across the nation in unprecedented ways. States have sought to give individuals special protections in the law based upon their “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” status. Schools have been opening their bathrooms and locker rooms to the opposite sex if a student claims they feel like the opposite sex. State administrative agencies have been caught attempting to expose our most vulnerable children to “gender transition” services. And therapists have been targeted for trying to help our children overcome unwanted same-sex attraction and gender identity struggles.
Yet, the voices of biblical citizens like you, speaking compassionate truth that our sex is innate and cannot change at will, have had a significant impact everywhere—from school officials all the way to the Trump Administration. Here are some of the ways your prayers, financial support and taking action have led to big victories:
- Our alliance of state-based policy organizations has stopped bills targeting therapists in over 20 states, including Idaho, Kansas, Maine and Colorado.
- You helped stop over 95% of sexual orientation and gender identity bills—one of the biggest tools the Left uses to attack religious freedom and free speech.
- Under the Trump Administration, multiple executive agencies—including the Departments of Defense and Education, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons— have reversed Obama-era policies that required the placement of transgender individuals with those of the opposite sex,>/mark> finding these policies to be a violation of privacy, safety and dignity.
We have made major strides this year and with your support, we will continue to stand firm in the biblical truth that God has created men and women in His image, male and female, and that our biological sex is no accident. 5. The Story You Helped Write in the 2018 Election
With your help – and with our theme verse on our lips (“The people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.” Daniel 11:32) – Family Policy Alliance stood firm and took strategic action on key races where voter data and on-the-ground reports indicated that we could have an impact. You helped make possible more than a million communications with voters in those targeted races!
And the results were encouraging. On a night that brought lots of sobering news, Family Policy Alliance won nearly two-thirds of targeted races. Since most of those were state-level races that don’t get as much attention, let me share a few highlights of how your support for Family Policy Alliance paid dividends.
As you may know, our sister organization, Family Policy Foundation®, trains on-the-rise Christian legislators and candidates at the annual Statesmen Academy®. Some of those Statesmen alumni need help winning difficult elections, so we provided assistance in 17 key Statesmen races.
Thankfully, our supported Statesmen won 14 of those races. That’s an 82 percent win rate! Now, a total of 52 Statesmen, equipped Christian men and women, will be serving you in elected office starting in January 2019!
You also helped us engage in several U.S. Senate races – most notably in North Dakota, where Family Policy Alliance’s on-the-ground presence made our work especially strategic.
Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota® identified 35,000 pro-life North Dakotans who are inconsistent about getting to the polls, especially in non-presidential years. They reached those voters with live phone calls from volunteers, with mailers, and with targeted digital ads that featured a strong video exposing the radical pro-abortion record of the incumbent senator, Heidi Heitkamp.
The result was a resounding win for Kevin Cramer. Pro-lifers around the nation will benefit from having a new pro-life champion in the U.S. Senate!
As you can see, it’s been a big year for believers who care about restoring a nation where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished!
We look back on 2018 with hearts full of gratitude for all God has done—and for all He has done through you.
And His calling doesn’t stop with the end of the year! Next week, we plan to share with you what to expect as we ring in the new year!
We can’t thank you enough for your prayers and support of Family Policy Alliance.
May God bless you and your family,
President & CEO
Plus a brand-new video!
By Autumn Leva, Vice President of Strategy for Family Policy Alliance®
Many believers may not have much personal experience in the world of child welfare—I confess I didn’t either until I started working on this issue for Family Policy Alliance.
But here’s what makes the most common sense to me. When a birth mother wants or needs to place her child for adoption, she should be able to choose which adoption agency she works with. Similarly, adoptive families should be free to choose an agency that best aligns with their values.
And, no matter what, every child in need of a family and every courageous birthmom who pursues adoption should be at the center of every state’s adoption policies.
What do you think?
Here are a few reasons we think Christian adoption agencies need to matter to everyone, both believers and nonbelievers, those involved in adoption and those who never will be.
And be sure to check out this new video!
Christian adoption agencies matter…to everyone!
Shutting down faith-based adoption agencies is one of the Left’s newest tactics to silence people of faith. They believe that an agency that operates as a ministry, not a business, such as by placing children in homes with a married mother and father, shouldn’t be allowed in the state.
For example, in Colorado, when a bill was introduced to protect the right of faith-based agencies to continue to operate according to their beliefs, a Senator from Boulder admitted on-record that he believes that faith-based agencies should be shut down, rather than serving children and families!
If the Left succeeds at shutting down even ministries that do one of the most honorable works that exists—finding families for children in need—then the right of believers to freely live out their faith, or the right of anyone who disagrees with the government’s view on any particular issue to speak out, is severely threatened.
This is why protecting faith-based adoption agencies matters to everyone—if faith-based ministries that care for children can be silenced, then no one’s right to speak or live out their beliefs is safe.
Christian adoption agencies matter to birthmoms
Placing a child for adoption can be an extremely difficult time for a birthmother. When a birthmom is free to choose an agency that she believes will meet her needs, as well as help her place her child in a home that best aligns with her hopes and values for her child, she will be better supported throughout the entire process.
In fact, many faith-based agencies work specifically to minister to birthmothers, providing them care, support, and counseling—even if they ultimately choose not to place their child for adoption.
Christian adoption agencies matter to adoptive families
Many adoptive parents come to adoption from a place of grief and hurting in their own struggle to have children, and the wait for an adoptive child can be long and difficult. Adoptive families should be free to work with an agency they trust to meet their needs as they prepare their home for an adoptive child. Agencies that better understand the family’s values will be the best to support that family on their journey to adoption.
Plus, practicing Christians are twice as likely to adopt a child. When Christian families are free to work with agencies that share their values, we can continue to ensure that even more believers are heeding the biblical call to care for the orphans and the widows.
Christian adoption agencies matter to children
The best way to help children in need of a forever home is to increase opportunities for them to find a forever family and prevent even more children landing in the states’ already backed-up foster care system. Ensuring that faith-based agencies can continue their ministries in every state provides more opportunities for children to be served by even more agencies and families.
Plus, faith-based adoption agencies excel at finding homes for hard-to-place children—those with special needs, older children, and the severely abused.
Here’s how you can help protect faith-based agencies and the families they serve in your state:
Congress is considering a federal bill that would ensure that states that receive taxpayer dollars for any child welfare programs can’t exclude faith-based adoption agencies from operating in their states.
Family Policy Alliance has been working in coalition with other national allies to support this bill, and we need your help to get the message to every U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator that this bill is important to all of us!
Please help by using our Action Center to send a message instantly to your own Representative and two Senators, asking them to support this bill. It takes less than 2 minutes to add your name and click send!
Family Policy Alliance met Adrian when she came to the Colorado Capitol with us and our state ally, Colorado Family Action, to ask lawmakers in that state to protect faith-based adoption agencies. This was when one Senator from Boulder boldly admitted on record that he believes faith-based agencies should be shut down, rather than serving children and families in Colorado!
After Colorado lawmakers refused to advance this common sense bill, Adrian shared her story as a birthmom with the Christian Post.
“When my baby girl was born, I held her tight and told her, ‘I’ll always love you.’ Leaving the hospital without my daughter was the single hardest thing I’d ever done.” …
By Autumn Leva, VP of Strategy for Family Policy Alliance
Yesterday was an amazing day for children and families in two states—and for the Christian and other faith-based adoption agencies who serve them.
Late last night, the Kansas Legislature passed the Adoption Protection Act, making Kansas the ninth state to protect the right of faith-based adoption agencies to continue their good work. Kansas followed Oklahoma, which also passed a similar measure yesterday.
You may be wondering why we need laws to protect faith-based adoption agencies. The reason is that radical Leftist activists like the ACLU and leading LGBT activist groups want to see faith-based adoption agencies shut down across the country. They believe that agencies whose mission is to place children without a family in a loving home with a mother and a father is “discriminatory.” They’d rather see these agencies forced to close down—resulting in less opportunities for children to find a forever family—than to let them continue to live out their faith in their adoption ministry.
This just further underscores how the Left values its political agenda over what’s best for children.
But, unlike states such as Massachusetts and Illinois that have already actively pushed out faith-based adoption providers, Kansas and Oklahoma joined the growing trend to protect faith-based agencies and the children they serve.
Eric Teetsel is President of Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, our ally in the Sunflower State, who helped lead the efforts on the Adoption Protection Act in Kansas. He shared with us what the bill means for his state:
“While other states shut down faith-based providers by establishing a radical, left-wing sexual litmus test, Kansas has made clear: everyone is welcome here.”
Eric also described how God worked in an amazing way to make the bill’s passage possible—even after the nation’s leading LGBT advocacy group falsely claimed that over 80 businesses opposed protecting faith-based adoption agencies and sent its president personally to the state to lobby against the bill!
“Getting the Adoption Protection Act over the line was a battle from the beginning, and – on the final day – needed four separate votes to pass.
On the first of those votes, we got the 60 we needed, but knew we had to get to 63 on “final action.” Weeks and weeks of work and we had just a few hours to find 3 more votes. But, do you know what yesterday was? National Day of Prayer.
And – get this – just before the critical House vote, a troupe of bagpipers and drummers began to play under the Capitol dome. The tune? Amazing Grace.
Isn’t that incredible?
We give God all the glory for the victories in Kansas and Oklahoma!
You can help!
If you would like to join us in helping faith-based adoption agencies, we are looking for Believers to urge their U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators to pass a federal bill that will protect these incredible and selfless faith-based adoption providers across the country!
Through our Action Center, you can send an instant message to your own lawmakers.
Thank you for your help as we work together to keep kids first!
Thanks to hundreds of you who spoke up through our Action Center, a Colorado Senate committee took favorable action on two bills late Monday night, with some of our Family Policy Alliance team in attendance.
On a 3-2 vote, the Senate State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee defeated the bill that would have pushed sexually confused kids toward transgenderism and homosexuality. Bills like this – banning counseling that would help kids accept their God-given birth sex – are a top priority of the LGBT lobby nationwide. Thankfully, these three senators upheld free speech, parental rights and religious freedom by voting to defeat the bill:
Sen. Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs)
Sen. Vicki Marble (R-Ft. Collins)
Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg (R-Sterling)
The two votes in favor of this dangerous bill were Sen. Lois Court (D-Denver) and Sen. Steve Fenberg (D-Boulder).
Also, on the same 3-2 vote, the committee passed SB 241, a bill that ensures that faith-based adoption agencies can continue to serve families in Colorado. This is great news for religious freedom and, ultimately, for protecting the life and well-being of kids who need a forever home. That bill continues through the process, hopefully reaching the full Senate soon. If you haven’t yet reached out to your own senator in support of this adoption bill, do it in just seconds at our Action Center.
We hope you’re encouraged with these results. We certainly are – not only by the votes on the bills, but by the involvement of you and hundreds of other Coloradans. Please be on the lookout for other updates as the legislature winds down.
The Family Policy Alliance Team