Question: "What does the Bible say about adoption?"

Adoption can be a loving alternative for biological parents who may have a variety of reasons for being unable to care for their children. It can also be an answer to prayer for many couples who have not been able to conceive their own offspring. Adoption is shown favorably throughout Scripture as a way in which God uses people to do His will and bring Him glory.

The story is told in the book of Exodus about a Hebrew woman named Jochebed who bore a son during a time period where Pharaoh (the king) was ordering all the male infants to be put to death in order to control the population (Exodus 1:15-22). Jochebed took a basket, waterproofed it with tar and pitch, and sent the baby down the river in the basket. One of Pharaoh’s daughters spotted the basket and retrieved the child. He was eventually adopted into this royal family and was given the name Moses. He went on to become a faithful and blessed servant of God (Exodus 2:1-10).

In the book of Esther, a beautiful girl named Esther, who was adopted by her cousin after her parents' death, became a queen and God used her to bring deliverance to the Jewish people. In the New Testament, God's one and only Son, Jesus Christ, was conceived through the Holy Spirit instead of through the seed of a man (Matthew 1:18). He was adopted and raised by His mother's husband, Joseph, who took Jesus in as his own child.

Once we give our hearts to Christ, believing and trusting in Him alone for salvation, God says we become part of His family—not through the natural process of human conception, but through adoption. “So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God's very own children, adopted into His family – calling Him 'Father, dear Father'” (Romans 8:15). Bringing a person into a family by means of adoption is done by choice and out of love. “His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave Him great pleasure” (Ephesians 1:5).

Clearly adoption—both in the physical sense and in the spiritual sense—is shown in a favorable light in Scripture. Both those who adopt and those who are adopted can receive abundant blessings and joy.