Is Adoption or Child Fostering Biblical?

Galatians 4:4-8 says:

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”  So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods.

Adopted children

 Romans 8:14-17 also reads:

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him

The deepest and strongest foundation of adoption is located not in the act of humans adopting humans, but in God adopting humans. This act is not part of his ordinary providence in the world; it is at the heart of the gospel. Galatians 4:4-5 is as central a gospel statement as there is: “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons”. God did not have to use the concept of adoption to explain how He saved us, or even how we become part of his family. He could have stayed with the language of new birth so that all his children were described as children by nature only (John 1:12-13, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God”). But he chose to speak of us as adopted as well as being children by new birth. This is the most essential foundation of the practice of adoption.

Read: I was born into a Pastor's family but didn't get many things right about the Bible 

Although, the Bible doesn’t have a specific verse that commands parents to consider adoption as a viable way to raise a family, there are instances in Biblical examples. One of these was at the point where Moses’ mother could not care for him as a result of Pharaoh's  mandate to slaughter all the male infants of Israel. He was placed in the care of the Pharaoh’s daughter and reared in the palace (Exodus 2). Because she adopts him, he eventually grows up and saves the Israelite people from the oppressive power of Pharaoh.


Esther is another example. She lost her parents at a young age, but her cousin, Mordecai adopted her (Esther 2:7). Like Moses, she goes on to save the Jews.


Although we can care for orphans in a number of ways, one of the most practical is to welcome them into our families. What better way can we care for someone without parents than to provide for their biological and spiritual needs? How can we prevent the world from taking advantage of them? By offering our homes and our love to these children, we can help defend them and give them the tools they need to thrive and succeed.


Even if we have not experienced a literal adoption on earth whether as a parent or as a child as believers, we have experienced a spiritual adoption. The Bible talks about this spiritual adoption in a number of ways.


Through Christ’s death and resurrection on the cross, He has paved a way for us to reach the gates of Heaven and call God our “Abba” Father (Romans 8:15).


Like the orphans in Ancient Rome, we were extremely exposed, vulnerable, and lacked agency. We could do nothing to relieve ourselves from our circumstances, until Jesus rescued us and adopted us.

Psalm 27:10 says even when our own families abandon us, God takes us in. Even when our families fall apart and parents leave us, God will never forsake us. Once He grafts us into His family, we remain a part of it forever. Whether we have experienced literal adoption, spiritual adoption, or both, we can come to acknowledge that we know how it feels to be in a vulnerable position. But because God chooses to be our Father and adopts us into His family, we have a place where we belong. We have a heavenly Father who loves us, where our earthly fathers may have failed us.


Furthermore, since we have experienced this love from the Father and this adoption, we can show our love to orphans and vulnerable children. Although this doesn’t necessarily mean all of us are called to adoption, but many of us are. When God calls us to adopt, we’ll be ready with love overflowing since He lavishly has poured out His love upon us and called us sons and daughters of God.

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  1. Why is it that most parent neglect their adopted kids after God had given them their own

    1. I will say they lack the knowledge and the understanding of the word of God. Remember the Bible says "do to others what you want others to do to you" and also "love your neighbors as you love yourself"

      And if they had the perfect understanding that "every good gift(an adopted child) comes from the lord", then they wouldn't behave that way.

  2. I was adopted and I was shown love, though my parents weren't that sound in the faith. I never knew it was biblical too

    1. I thank God for the unconditional love that was shown to you by your parents. Yes it is biblical because firstly, God adopted us to be his children and hairs of his promises.

  3. This is exquisite, I am now better equiped to answer questions in this regards. God bless you


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