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Jun 18, 2014

During the recent Christian Alliance for Orphans conference, a member of our San Francisco team, Colleen, was invited to be part of a panel of experts, talking about “God’s Heart for Families Facing Unplanned Pregnancy.”

This session examined the history of the church and how the stigma and shame of adoption within our own church families hurts women, children, and families.

The panel explored practical suggestions to help the church love and equip Christian families facing unexpected pregnancies with resources supporting adoption as an honorable option. At Bethany, we want to show how the church can walk alongside those facing this challenge, and how we can better celebrate the choice of adoption for those that make that difficult decision.

The panel at CAFO shared this acronym: G. R. A. C. E.

G - Generational Impact

R - Relationships

A - Awareness and Acceptance

C - Connections and Celebration

E - Education and Empowerment

Colleen explained G.R.A.C.E. this way: “Less than 1 percent of women with unplanned pregnancies choose to make an adoption plan, while approximately 49 percent choose to abort their babies—even within the church community. Why is adoption not even on the ‘choice table’?”

Perhaps we as a church have not extended sufficient grace and honor for women who choose life and make adoption plans for their babies.

We expect women to choose life for their baby, but they are often stigmatized and ostracized by the church for their unplanned pregnancy, which sadly shames women toward abortion. One woman said, “I'd rather face God with an abortion than face my church with my unplanned pregnancy.”

If this is true, how can we as the church better support women in crisis so they don't feel they have to end their pregnancy privately in abortion for fear of public humiliation and scorn?  Or more simply: how can the church show GRACE to families facing unplanned pregnancy?” 

Over the next few weeks, here on the blog, we will introduce each of these aspects of G.R.A.C.E. and share some ideas for how your church community can support birth and adoptive families.

For more information, please visit the organizations and individuals who were a part of this great event below.