Blood Is Thicker Than Water – A Look at Arguments Against Adoption
Mr. Tim Snyder, Media Services Coordinator for Wisconsin Lutheran College, Milwaukee, WI
No doubt you have heard this old saying before – and maybe you’ve even used it yourself. It’s a way of conveying that the ties that bind us to blood relatives are stronger and more compelling than the ties that connect us to others. If that’s true, then it’s more likely that I will help a brother than a friend. Assisting my parents takes precedence over aiding a stranger. I will sacrifice for my child before giving something up for my neighbor. But just how far am I willing to go for a family member – especially my child? As you read this, there are young women contemplating that very question.
The importance of blood ties is used by some as an argument against adoption. The very thought of “giving up” a family member and allowing strangers to raise that child as their own seems wrong. On the other hand, it’s also blood ties that play into the gut-wrenching decision a young woman makes to place her child in an adoptive home. Rational arguments war against emotional ones as she assesses her ability to provide and care for her baby. It may be the toughest decision she will ever make, but she is willing to endure the emotional trauma, because the welfare of her baby comes first. Her sacrifice underscores the sentiment that blood is thicker than water.
The Ultimate Blood Tie
An unbelieving woman decides to place her baby. Her motivation may be love – love for her child. A Christian woman also decides to relinquish parental rights of her baby. She is also motivated by love for her child, but there is another love – far more powerful – providing motivation. Once again a connection by blood comes into play. This is not a natural blood connection – it is a supernatural blood connection.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:13)
Through Christ’s suffering and death – the actual shedding of His blood – we are now part of God’s family. Our risen and victorious Savior conquered sin and
death and demolished the barrier that separated us from God. By His blood we are justified. We respond with love for our Lord, and that love manifests itself in our relations with others. A Christian is motivated by this ultimate blood tie.
Two Outcomes, One Motivation
Placing a child for adoption may be for the best. But what if our hypothetical young mother decides to keep her child? That can also be a God-pleasing decision. The question of what’s best for the child seems to focus on two extremes. The mother will choose between two very different outcomes, but she bases it on one motivation.
Her decision-making process begins at the cross. She places the burden of her sins there with the confidence that God has forgiven all – including the sins that led to her pregnancy. Motivated by Christ’s love, she sees the life inside her in a new way. The power of the gospel enables her to make a selfless decision that seeks to serve others. The other, in this instance, is her baby.
The Tie that Binds
This column is entitled “The Tie that Binds” for a very important reason. The blood tie that we share in Christ is the tie that informs all of our decisions regarding critical life and family issues. It is the tie that we must look to as we support the women who are burdened with this profound adoption question. A woman has freedom of choice in this sobering matter. We would do her a disservice if we claim that she has a moral obligation to place the child or that, conversely, it would be a sin to “abandon” blood relatives. Any advice that we share must be couched in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“Faith Expressing Itself Through Love”
To paraphrase Galatians 5;6: To keep a child or to place the child for adoption is not the key. The key is faith expressing itself through love. Of course this does not imply that the adoption question is one to be taken lightly. In fact, it’s just the opposite. What could be more important than weighing how best we can show love for Christ? What could be more important than providing loving support for the woman who is making this decision?
When it comes to adoption, blood is thicker than water. The blood of Jesus is evidence of His love. Jesus’ love compels us to make decisions that seek the best for others. His love motivates young women as they seek the best for their unborn children.
May God use us as vessels to convey that love to others through prayer and encouragement during such a critical time. It may be the toughest decision she will ever make, but she is willing to endure the emotional trauma, because the welfare of her baby comes first.
Mr. Tim Snyder serves as the Media Services Coordinator for Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Tim and his family are members at Christ the Lord congregation in Brookfield, Wisconsin.
May 4, 2018