I have been thinking about this question ever since the Supreme Court ruling took place this summer allowing for same sex marriage to be legal in all 50 states. If same sex marriage is legal, then obviously the consequences will overflow to the realm of foster care and adoption.
This question is particularly pertinent to my local context because I am heavily involved with our Florida Baptist local children’s home and fostering/adoption program. And even more specifically, I have a few men in my church who work as case managers for a local adoption agency.
The question posed to me this week by one of those men went something like this:
“Is it possible to be a Christian and work as a case manager assisting a homosexual couple who wants to adopt? Or, for that matter, any non-Christian couple who wants to adopt? Florida has a law forbidding discrimination when it comes to couples that want to adopt.”
Here is my response. I pray that it is beneficial and worthy of your consideration:
I have been thinking about that for a while now. I don’t have a good answer yet. I think it is more complex than yes or no. It is in the similar vein of should I do perform marriages for same sex couples or for any non-Christian for that matter.
I think the answer could go something like this: I should not marry a homosexual couple because it is a direct violation against the Word and will of God. A homosexual couple will still be living in sin even after they are married.
However, the same argument can be made against non-Christians who want to get married. Even though they will not be living in sexual sin any longer (assuming they are living together and practicing premarital sex) they will still be sinning against God in every other aspect of their lives (see Romans 14:23 and Hebrews 11:6).
In the same manner, if a homosexual couple adopt a child, they will also be sinning against God, much in the same way a non-Christian couple adopt a child, they will also be sinning against God, even though it is a very good thing to adopt and to get married for that matter, because again, doing anything without faith is a sin.
But I think there is a distinction, and it is an important distinction: God desires for men and women to marry and have families. That has always been the plan and will of God. We see this illustrated in the very first family on earth and the creation mandate given by God to Adam and Eve to fill the earth by being fruitful and multiplying.
Getting married and having children is one of the common graces that all created beings get to enjoy. It is like friendship or good memories. Not just Christians get to enjoy good friends and have the ability to recollect fond memories. Everyone has that gift. I think this is what Jesus says in Matthew 5:45, that God makes the sun rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the just and the unjust.
Therefore, my counsel to myself would be this: I cannot, for any reason, ever, perform a wedding ceremony for a homosexual couple. It is not my right to do so, no matter what the legislation says. There are plenty of other people who can perform a civil ceremony for someone who wants to exercise their state or federal right to marry. I just can’t or won’t do it. There may come a day where I will be fined or imprisoned, but those are the consequences of following Scripture.
To borrow from Luther, unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Holy Scriptures, or by evident reason — for I can believe neither [legislature nor popular opinion], as it is clear that they have erred repeatedly and contradicted themselves — I consider myself by the testimony of Holy Scripture, which is my basis; my conscience is captive to the Word of God. Thus I cannot and will not [compromise], because acting against one’s conscience is neither safe nor sound. God help me. Amen.
As far as assisting with an adoption as part of your job, that is a tough call. I suppose if you were the one finalizing the adoption, then it would be another story. I don’t want to say this is one of the grey areas of the faith, because God’s Word is always black and white. However, this may be a matter of seriously asking yourself, what does Scripture say I can do? Am I violating my own conscience and/or the word of God?