It is intended to consider the practice of adopting children. Is it right to do so ? There is only one specific case of adoption in the Scriptures and that is Esther. She was adopted by Mordecai (Esther 2:7). Although the actual word adoption is not used, what he did was effectively that as it says: “Mordecai took her for his own daughter”. Further, “Esther did what Mordecai told her” (Esther 2:20) which shows that she regarded Mordecai as her Father figure. However, Esther was not just someone Mordecai had picked out of a hat, so to speak: she was his Uncle’s daughter, that is, she was an orphaned relative of Mordecai. He no doubt considered he had an obligation to bring her up. There was a similar case amongst my own relatives. There is no doubt that what Mordecai did was right.

However, often people adopt children because they do not have any of their own, though they wish to have children. It is likely in these cases that they are unable for some medical reason to have children. There may be other reasons. They may have some children, but wish to do something for orphaned or abandoned children (usually babies). They may simply foster such or go on to adopt them, that is, legally have them treated as their children so that they get full parental rights. Christians should be careful what they do in this regard and make their thinking a matter of prayer, and be sure that they are not just following their own wills. Adoption is not prohibited in Scripture. It is not something for which a person should be excluded from Christian fellowship, but this does not mean that a Christian (or anyone else) should just adopt babies willy-nilly. One must consider that a child may not be compatible with its adoptive parents. It has an inborn nature and although it may be well brought up (nurtured) by its adoptive parents, its nature may show through as it grows up and cause difficulties in its adoptive family. I have heard of at least one such case. In an ordinary family one may see ones own features coming out in one’s children and may therefore have an understanding as to how they should be dealt with, but features of an adopted child may seem strange to its adoptive parents and they may be at a loss as to how to deal with them. All this should be born in mind before adopting children.

Probably the most common reason for adopting children is the inability to have children naturally.