Adoption

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Mormon First Presidency
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that the family is central to life and that children and parents are bound together to help each other throughout life. Because family is such an important part of LDS doctrine and culture, adoption and abortion can create unique concerns and questions within the LDS community.

Children Born Out of Wedlock

In 1994 the First Presidency of the Church wrote a letter that was read to its members concerning adoption, and babies conceived out of wedlock, part of it said,

Priesthood and auxiliary leaders are again encouraged to renew their efforts to teach ward and stake members the importance of living chaste and virtuous lives. We note with alarm the continued decline of moral values in society and the resultant number of children being reared by unwed parents.... Every effort should be made in helping those who conceive out of wedlock to establish an eternal family relationship. When the unwed parents are unable or unwilling to marry, they should be encouraged to place the child for adoption, preferably through LDS Social Services.... Unwed parents who do not marry should not be counseled to keep the infant as a condition of repentance or out of an obligation to care for one’s own.... When deciding to place the baby for adoption, the best interests of the child should be the paramount consideration (First Presidency Letter, 1 Feb. 1994).

Marriage is usually considered to be the best option if it is possible. Studies show that if the parents are married before the birth of the child, there is a greater likelihood that the parents will be better off financially, be able to provide a more stable home, and have a better chance of having a healthy marriage. This does not seem to be true for those who are married after the child is born.

When marriage is not possible or is inadvisable, placing the baby up for adoption through Church adoption services is often the next best option. Adoptive parents are often better-off economically, better educated, are more mature, and can provide the child with a stable family life that includes both a mother and a father. LDS Family Services screens adoptive parents and makes sure they are worthy according to Church standards.

It is important to say that abortion is strictly avoided within the Church, President Spencer W. Kimball said,

Abortion, the taking of life, is one of the most grievous of sins. We have repeatedly affirmed the position of the Church in unalterably opposing all abortions, except in two rare instances: When conception is the result of forcible rape and when competent medical counsel indicates that a mother’s health would otherwise be seriously jeopardized [1] The Church maintains this stance thirty years later.

Adoption and the Childless Couple

The LDS church is encouraging of those who adopt in order to expand their families. In 2001, The First Presidency stated:

"We affirm the sanctity of life and its importance in God's eternal plan. We honor adoption as a positive way to provide children the blessings of a family and commend the many single women and men who choose adoption for their newborn infants. We appreciate the families who provide adoptive homes for these infants. Likewise, we acknowledge the many families who open their hearts and homes to adopt children who are older or have medical and other special needs.

"We also commend government and civic leaders who defend and promote adoption and other measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family."

An adopted child is eligible to go to the temple with his or her adoptive parents to be "sealed" forever. In that case, the child belongs to the parents, even after death, just as sealed birth children do. (See Celestial marriage).


See also

References

  1. Spencer W. Kimball, "A Report and a Challenge," Ensign, November 1976, p.4.

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