Adoption Ministry Manual

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Orphans and the Biblical basis for Adoption

If you are reading this you may be thinking of adopting. The most obvious reason for adopting is the desire to add to your family or to begin building a family. There are many books on the market today that will help you understand the psychology of adding an adopted child to your family. They will give you information about all the questions people ask. Our staff will help you select a book that best addresses your questions. They are also there to help you with questions, or to refer you to someone who might be considered more of an expert on the topic you are most concerned with. This is our joy and our ministry. Helping you with these questions is our way of helping another orphan child to find a home for good!

The one thing we have found to be the least taught, with the least amount of information available is the biblical view of adoption.

Numerous scriptures command us to care for, defend and plead the cause of orphans, while others convey a strong message for those who refuse to do so. The bible tells us we are spiritual orphans, and adoption is the way into God's kingdom. God proves His love for mankind by offering to adopt us as His own children. "God sent forth His Son so that we might receive the adoption as sons." (Gal. 4:4-5) "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on His name." (Jn 1:12) Jesus Himself said, "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." (Jn 14:18) He also said, "I go to prepare a place for you, and I will come again to receive you to Myself" (to adopt you: Rom 8:23) "that where I am, there you may be also." (Jn 14:2-3)

God's love is often expressed in the context of adoption. When we accept His invitation to receive Jesus Christ as our Savior, we become adopted children of God (Jn 1:12), and our adoption is finalized when Jesus comes to take us home to live wih Him forever. (Rom 8:23) Everyone benefits from God's love, but only those who are adopted are fulfilled by it. All children in an orphanage can benefit from our love, but only those who are adopted receive the fullness of our love.

My experience working with children in an orphanage for six years taught me how the children really felt about all my love and attention and care: "If you love me, why don't you adopt me?" How can we tell an orphan child that Jesus loves them when they don't believe we love them? How can we tell them about a God who will never leave them or forsake them, when we leave them to languish in an orphanage?

Caring for children in an orphanage ministers primarily to physical needs. But for most orphan children, belonging to a family is what it will take to fulfill their emotional and spiritual needs.

In an orphan child's mind, the word orphan often means, "Nobody loves me and nobody wants me". No matter how much love and care we give them in an orphanage, the children are still orphans! But, adoption changes their thinking and their status from an unwanted orphan to a loved and wanted child. In an orphan child's way of thinking, if God really loved them He would send someone to adopt them. The truth is, God does love them and He does call someone to adopt them. Many Christian families are answering that call and are eager to become missionaries to orphan children.

Simulated Birth

Here in the Philippines we use the expression, "Simulated Birth Adoption" to describe an adoption where a family registers the birth of someone else's child in their own family name, as if they were the biological parents of the child. The birth certificate is falsified to show that the adopting family is the biological family. According to Philippine law, "Simulated Birth" is a crime that is defined as the tampering of the civil registry making it appear in the birth records that a certain child was born to a person who is not his/her biological mother, causing such child to lose his/her true identity and status.

Perhaps you have already adopted a child under such circumstances before you understood God's magnificent master plan. At that time you were simply trying to build a family or helping a friend or family member get out of a difficult situation. Simulated birth can save a lot of time and money, and most of the time a family truly thinks it is a good thing for the child as well. Unfortunately there is nothing we can say to suggest that simulated birth is a good practice. When a "simulated child" discovers they have been lied to all their life, and deprived of knowing their biological parents, this can be a traumatic experience that destroys their relationship with the adoptive parents who perpetrated the lie upon them.

Governments are correct to make it illegal; their duty is to protect children from harm and to protect the rights of those who cannot speak for themselves. It is our duty as Christians to set an example and obey the laws of the land (Rom. 13:1 NLT). Simulated birth denies a child the right to know their history and biological parents, and the right to know God's special place for them in His Story. It forces a family to become a living lie, and to live in fear that the lie may be discovered. Most families regret having taken this approach and cannot even talk about this burden that grows heavier with each passing year. It should be rectified if at all possible. It will be painful; it may even strain relationships for a time. God does not want us to carry such a heavy burden, and Jesus promised that knowing the truth will make us free! (John 8:32)

You might ask, why is there such a law? The answer is simple, SIN. There are many evil people in the world who engage in child trafficking, and children are frequently used for any number of unspeakable horrors. In the past, much of this was done under the guise of adoption. Laws are needed to protect against those people. Of course that is not you, but the fact remains that a child does have the right to know his or her history and true identity, and many have a deep need to know their biological parents.

Children in this situation often resent being a victim of life-long deceit. A child can suffer immense grief, especially if their biological parents have died before they ever had a chance to meet them. When this happens, many children will naturally blame the well meaning adoptive family who knowingly prevented them from meeting or knowing their biological parents before it was too late.

Perhaps you can recall the resentment you felt when you discovered that someone you trusted had lied to you, and you know how it damaged or even destroyed your relationship with them. Jesus is very clear when He tells us in John 8:32 "You shall know the truth and the truth will make you free" Jesus is the truth that makes us free, and anything that is not of truth is not of God. A lie in any form, regardless of its good intention, enslaves both the liar and the victim of the lie. A child needs and very desperately longs to know the truth about their identity, regardless of how painful it may be, and most also want very much to meet and to know their biological parents.

Speaking truth helps communicate love, and attracts people to Jesus. Telling your adopted child the truth from the very beginning makes adoption as natural to them as birth itself, and they will respect you and appreciate you for doing it. Even if they eventually come to resent being abandoned by their biological family, they will have no reason to blame you for hurting them. They will be free, and you will be free from the fear of discovery of the lie. They will be fee to love you, because you cared enough to give them the freedom of choice. God's ultimate love for us is expressed in the fact that He gives us the freedom of choice to love Him or not to love Him. Simulated birth has the effect of forcing a child to love his or her adoptive parents, but adoption proves love, because it is voluntary, and telling a child the truth gives them the opportunity to voluntarily love in return.

Consult an attorney about the legal steps necessary to rectify simulated birth. As for your child, do not try to rationalize or justify anything to the child, simply confess that you were wrong, that you did not understand how it must feel to them and how much you regret what you have done. Then humbly ask their forgiveness. Counseling can be found among adoption professionals who have had experience with this.

When we can explain adoption to a child they can easily understand. It is often just a matter of knowing what to say and at what age. Adoption professionals are out there. Home For Good Foundation is dedicated to getting answers for you. Don't hesitate to contact us. Read materials here on the web site and seek out people who are interested in helping.

One of the greatest displays of God's love is expressed in adoption. God loves us so much that He wants to have a permanent relationship with us, and He formalizes that relationship by adopting us as His special children. He further proves how special adopted children are, by making them joint-heirs of His kingdom with His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Moses, Queen Esther and Jesus were all adopted as children, and God used them as shining examples of how He feels about adopted children, to show us how special they are in His Kingdom.

The Tagalog verb, to love is: "mahal." "Ang mahal" also describes something that is "expensive, dear or costly." This gives us an excellent description of our adoption by God, because Jesus' death on the cross to pay for our adoption was: dear, costly and expensive. Adoption is the ultimate expression of Jesus' love for us, all wrapped up in that single word - mahal, "that we might receive the adoption as sons." (Gal 4:5)

God is not ashamed to have adopted children, He is proud of us and He tells the whole world that we are adopted. God created adoption to be an institution of love and blessing and pride. We don't get to choose our biological children, but adopted children can feel special because they were chosen. God adopted us because He chose us before the foundation of the world. We adopt orphan children because we choose to, because we want to. When adopted children know and feel that they were wanted and chosen, and that you are as proud of them as if they were your biological children, you have done as much for them as God did by adopting you, and that is sufficient for them to believe you really love them.

If adoption is good enough for God, it must be good enough for us, and it is surely good enough to convince an adopted child that you love them. Satan has counterfeited everything good, including God Himself. Simulated birth is counterfeit adoption.

Steps to Rectify Simulated Birth

1. Learn all that the bible teaches about adoption by our Heavenly Father.

2. Ask God to forgive you before you approach your child.

3. Ask God for humility, wisdom and discernment as you confess your sin to your child.

4. Teach your child what the bible says about adoption, and how special adoption is to God.
    You can find this information in our free Adoption Bible Study

5. Ask your child to forgive you when you confess.

6. Simply tell them how wrong you were, DO NOT try to justify yourself.

7. Tell your child you will help them locate and meet their birth parents. (if they desire)

8. Seek advice and counsel from professionals.

9. Seek legal advice and assistance to correct the child's birth certificate and identity.

In the Philippines there is a legal process for adopting a child. DSWD is the agency in charge.

If you are a citizen of the Philippines and live in the Philippines the process is called local or domestic adoption.

There are several ways to approach the process.

1. You may start by contacting an attorney who has experience in adoption. They will walk you through the steps. Go to our document "steps in choosing an attorney" and look for our list of experienced attorneys.

2. You may start by contacting your local office of the DSWD. Ultimately all domestic adoptions go through this government agency. DSWD

3. You may also start by contact Kaisahang Buhay Foundation (KBF). They are a private NGO who will walk you through the steps.

4. Contact Norfil Foundation. They too are a private NGO who will walk you through the steps.

5. You may contact us here at the Home For Good Foundation. We will be glad to explain further how the process works.

So which one do I choose?

We recommend the private NGO. Because they charge very little for their service and they offer more services. They will act as a go between for both the attorney and DSWD. They offer classes, seminars and follow up and other useful information about adopting and raising an adopted child. They may supply you with a list of good attorneys for you to consider rather than trusting your own ability to choose. DSWD is still involved. DSWD can still take you through the process if you choose to go directly to them. If you choose to go direct to DSWD you would contact the office in the area where you reside.

Remember the title of this page. Philippine Law. Following the steps mentioned above will help you keep within the law. These are the people who know the laws that apply to adoption.

The Child!

Unless you are adopting a relative's child you do not choose the child. The agency will match you with a child. You have the option to accept or reject the child they choose for you. There are many reasons why it is done this way. DSWD is a government agency following the law. You are welcome to ask why it is done this way. They will be happy to explain it.

What if I am not a citizen of the Philippines, but I live in the Philippines ?

Non citizens, living in the Philippines are required to go through a different agency. It is called "Inter country Adoption Board" (ICAB). It is best to contact them before you do anything else. There are a number of layers of government rules to follow as you navigate between your country of citizenship and the Philippines. Starting with ICAB will help you avoid the many pitfalls and errors that can occur, and will keep the process on track.

You may not identify a child prior to contacting ICAB. They will do the matching for you. If a private citizen offers you their child or any child, and you are willing to adopt the child, you need to contact ICAB immediately. It may be that the child is not adoptable. A social worker needs to establish this fact by doing a study. You too will have to undergo a study. You should never accept a child under such circumstances.

Your country has rules too. They are the ones to say if the child you want to adopt will qualify to come to your home country with you in the future. Some countries set criteria for adoption such as your financial stability, health, age and so on. You need to be sure both you and the child will qualify. So, rule number 1 for a foreigner living in the Philippines. Contact ICAB.

What if I am just visiting the Philippines and decided to adopt ?

If that is the case, when you get back to your home country, call the agency that is a fit for adopting Filipino children. If you go to the ICAB web site and look up your country you will see the contact information of the agency in your country you will need to contact. They will liaison with the Philippines to carry out the process.

If you are still in the Philippines ICAB will be happy to meet with you, show you the ropes and point you in the right direction. You will be meeting them again when you come back to be united with your adopted child.

What if I am a citizen of the Philippines, but live in another country ?

It's hard to make a simple blanket statement here. But I know who to ask. ICAB Do give them a call. Just because you visit the Philippines once a year and you are a citizen, it doesn't mean you can just pick up a child while you are here. There are some variations to the rules when adopting a relative. ICAB is the one to check with for that too.

Full Text of the Law

Though we cannot guarrantee its accuracy or whether it is up-to-date, here is a link to
the Full text of Philippine Law regarding adoption.

Short Cuts

The one and only short cut to adoption is to do your homework, be prepared for some paperwork, get lots of advice up front and do it right the first time. Most delays are caused because someone thought there was going to be a short cut and did not follow the rules.

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