Pope Francis has recently made a video that reflects on family life presented by testimonies from families around the world. This video is an accompaniment to his 2016 book Amoris
Laetitia (Joy of Love). In Chapter 5 of the book under the title An Expanding Fruitfulness, the subject of child adoption is discussed. Pope Francis says that adoption is a very generous way for a couple to become parents. “I encourage those who cannot have children to expand their marital love to embrace those who lack a proper family situation. They will never regret having been generous. Adopting a child is an act of love, offering the gift of a family to someone who has none. It is important to insist that legislation help facilitate the adoption process, above all in the case of unwanted children, in order to prevent their abortion or abandonment. Those who accept the challenge of adopting and accepting someone unconditionally and gratuitously become channels of God’s love. For he says, “Even if your mother forgets you, I will not forget you (Is 49:15).” According to author Shanna Freeman, adoptive parents will tell you that choosing to adopt a child is a beautiful way to create or add to a family. More than 125,000 children are adopted in the United States each year. She says “adoptive parents deal with a lot of highs and lows on their way to making their dream a reality. They wait months or years before being matched with birth parents or with a child (depending on the type of adoption). They undergo intense scrutiny, fill out piles of paperwork, wade through bureaucratic red tape and spend thousands of dollars. Every family faces challenges and obstacles, but the joy and satisfaction you feel when a child becomes yours is immeasurable. Author Freeman offers 10 questions to ask yourself if you are considering adoption. “10. Why do I want to adopt? 9. Can I handle the commitments that go along with adoption and parenthood? 8. Can I handle not being biologically related to my child? 7. What kind of adoption do I want? 6. What age child do I want? 5. Do I want a child of a certain race or culture? Do I want a special needs child? 4. How will I talk about adoption with my friends and family? 3. How will I talk to my child about his or her adoption? 2. How would I feel if my child wanted to learn about his or her background? 1. What support network do I have in place for problems that may arise.? Lots of study and thought need to go into such questions. Author Freeman says “if you decide that adoption is right for you, now’s the time to make those decisions and begin your journey.” She says “parenthood, no ma-er how you get there, is a truly amazing experience.” Author Emily Stimpson explains adoption this way: “not everyone who can conceive a baby is in a position to raise a baby – even with lots of assistance. Likewise, not everyone who can raise a baby can conceive a baby – even with lots of medical intervention. Adoption can solve both those problems. It can put babies into loving homes and it can bring a child to longing hearts. Adoption is not for everyone, but for those who feel called to it, it is a great and beautiful gift. It also is one of the ways we image God. God after all, has adopted us. We are not his children by nature. By nature, we’re just his creatures. But by grace, we are truly his. Through baptism, he has adopted us into his family, the Church