Welfare Ministry


Chapter 28—Adopting Children

Let Families Adopt Children—There is a special work to be done for the children more advanced in years. Let families of our faith who in the churches can do so, adopt these little ones, and they will receive a blessing in so doing.—Letter 205, 1899. WM 232.1

There are persons who have no little ones of their own, who may do good by adopting children. Those who have not the sacred responsibility of proclaiming the Word and laboring directly for the salvation of souls, have duties in other lines of work. If they are consecrated to God, and are qualified to mold and fashion human minds, the Lord will bless them in caring for the children of others. WM 232.2

But let the children of believers have our first consideration. There are among Sabbathkeepers very many large families of children that are not properly cared for. Many parents give evidence that they have not learned of Christ the lessons that would make them safe guardians of children. Their children do not receive proper training. And there are among us many children whom death has deprived of the parents’ care. There are those who might take some of these children and seek to mold and fashion their characters according to Bible principles.—Manuscript 35, 1896. WM 232.3

God has a people in this world, and there are many who can adopt children and care for them as God's little ones.—Letter 68, 1899. WM 232.4

Children of Believers—The Lord would have every church consider it a religious obligation resting upon them to adopt the babies of those whose parents have died in the faith. Let families take these little orphans.—Manuscript 44, 1900. WM 232.5

Counsel to a Childless Couple—You have not felt that it was required of you to be interested in others, to make their cases your own, and to manifest an unselfish interest for the very ones who stand most in need of help. You have not reached out to help the most needy, the most helpless. WM 233.1

Had you children of your own to call into exercise care, affection, and love, you would not be so much shut up to yourselves and to your own interests. If those who have no children, and whom God has made stewards of means, would expand their hearts to care for children who need love, care, and affection, and assistance with this world's goods, they would be far happier than they are today. So long as youth who have not a father's pitying care nor a mother's tender love are exposed to the corrupting influences of these last days, it is somebody's duty to supply the place of father and mother to some of them. Learn to give them love, affection, and sympathy. WM 233.2

All who profess to have a Father in heaven, who they hope will care for them, and finally take them to the home He has prepared for them, ought to feel a solemn obligation resting upon them to be friends to the friendless and fathers to the orphans, to aid the widows and be of some practical use in this world by benefiting humanity. Many have not viewed these things in a right light. If they live merely for themselves, they will have no greater strength than this calls for.—Testimonies for the Church 2:328, 329. WM 233.3

Is It God's Will?—The question of adopting a child, especially an infant, involves most serious responsibility. It should not be lightly regarded.... The question for each to settle is, In doing this shall I be merely gratifying my own wishes, or is it a duty the Lord has appointed for me? Is this His way, or a way of my own choosing? All are to be workers for God. Not one is excused. Your talents are not your own, to employ as you shall fancy. Inquire, What would the Lord have me do with His entrusted talents?—Manuscript 35, 1896. WM 233.4

Examine the Motives—We need carefully to search our hearts and study our motives. Selfishness may prompt the desire to do what appears to be an unselfish and praiseworthy act. The reason that many urge for desiring to adopt a child, the longing for something on which to center their affection, reveals the fact that their heart is not centered upon Christ; it is not absorbed in His work.—Manuscript 35, 1896. WM 234.1

Shall Ministers Adopt Children—The question has been asked whether a minister's wife should adopt infant children. I answer: If she has no inclination or fitness to engage in missionary work outside her home, and feels it her duty to take orphan children and care for them, she may do a good work. But let the choice of children be first made from among those who have been left orphans by Sabbathkeeping parents. God will bless men and women as they with willing hearts share their homes with these homeless ones. WM 234.2

But if the minister's wife can herself act a part in the work of educating others, she should consecrate her powers to God as a Christian worker. She should be a true helper to her husband, assisting him in his work, improving her intellect, and helping to give the message. The way is open for humble, consecrated women, dignified by the grace of Christ, to visit those in need of help and shed light into discouraged souls. They can lift up the bowed down by praying with them and pointing them to Christ. Such should not devote their time and strength to one helpless little mortal that requires constant care and attention. They should not thus voluntarily tie their hands.—Testimonies for the Church 6:285. WM 234.3

Perhaps God Has Withheld This Blessing—A well-ordered, well-disciplined family will have a powerful influence for good. But if you have no children of your own, it may be that the Lord has a wise purpose in withholding from you this blessing. It should not be taken as evidence that it is your duty to adopt a child. In some cases this might be advisable. If the Lord bids you take an infant to bring up, then the duty is too plain to be misunderstood. But as a rule it would not be wise for a minister's wife to encumber herself with such a responsibility.... WM 235.1

If the companion of a minister is united with her husband in the work of saving souls, it is the highest work she can do. But the care of a little child would absorb her attention, so that she could not attend meetings and labor successfully in visiting and personal effort. Even if she accompanies her husband, the child is too often the burden of thought and conversation, and the visit is made of no effect. Those whom God has called to be colaborers with Him are to have no idols to absorb thought and affection that He would have directed in other lines.—Manuscript 35, 1896. WM 235.2

Ever Keep a Proper Perspective of Responsibility—Great consideration must be exercised in the work that we undertake. We are not to assume large burdens in the care of infant children. This work is being done by others. We have a special work in caring for and educating the children more advanced in years. Let families who can do so adopt the little ones, and they will receive a blessing in so doing.—Testimonies for the Church 6:246, 247. WM 235.3