If John McCain is looking for a way to shore up his support among evangelical voters, he might start talking about adoption. In 1993, the McCains adopted a daughter from Mother Teresa’s orphanage in Bangladesh, and the senator has co-sponsored legislation to aid adoption, including measures that would provide tax credits for expenses and would remove barriers to interracial and interethnic adoption. But his efforts are rarely mentioned on the campaign trail at a time when adoption is a hot topic in the evangelical community.
Earlier this month, Rick Warren, the best-selling author and pastor of the Saddleback megachurch in Lake Forest, Calif., asked both presidential candidates if they would consider some kind of emergency plan to help the 148 million orphans around the world, something along the lines of President Bush’s AIDS efforts. Both said yes, but a number of Christians and their organizations are not waiting for the next administration to act.
Russell Moore, the dean of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., is the author of a forthcoming book called “Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches.” A few years ago, Mr. Moore and his wife adopted two boys from Russia, and he notes that his church has posted a large map showing which countries member families have adopted children from. “In any given church,” he notes, “you rarely see only one family who has adopted. . . . It becomes part of the culture of the congregation.”