Would you advise adopting a child from another country or a different ethnic group? My spouse and I are seriously interested in helping a child who needs a home, but we're unsure about the potential risks and challenges that come with interracial or intercultural adoption.
We commend your willingness to bring a needy child into your home. With more than 100,000 children currently waiting to be adopted here in the United States and over 140 million orphans worldwide, God's people have an opportunity to take a more active role in making a difference in these precious lives.
Throughout Scripture we're reminded of God's concern and tender care for the orphaned; all believers are called to defend and care for the fatherless (Isaiah 1:17 and Psalm 68:5). As you may know, we developed our Wait No More® Foster Care and Adoption Program in effort to be true to this command.
When it comes to interracial adoption, Focus believes strongly in what the Bible makes clear: Every individual, whatever their race or ethnic background, has been created in the image of God, and we are equally valuable in the eyes of the Lord. With this in mind — and considering the great need — we would wholeheartedly support and encourage families to welcome any child awaiting adoption with open arms.
At the same time, we'd also suggest that a family considering such a step do so with everyone's eyes wide open. It's important to be aware of relational dynamics that might have an impact. For example, if neighbors or extended family members harbor racial prejudice and could possibly express those attitudes in front of the child, parents need to be prepared to deal with the situation appropriately. And parents should take intentional steps to be culturally sensitive to the child's ethnicity.
It's difficult to address this topic comprehensively here, but our staff has devoted an entire chapter to interracial adoption in a book that you might find helpful — Handbook on Thriving As an Adoptive Family: Real-Life Solutions to Common Challenges.
Adoption & Foster Care (resource list)