God Doesn’t Do Adoption ~ The Jesus Was (NOT) Adopted Version

Dear Ms. Feverfew –

Wanna know what really chaps my proverbial hide? The claim that “God chose adoption for Jesus”, ergo adoption is a holy, Godly thing.

Uh, Jesus wasn’t adopted folks. He was raised by Joseph, yes. But Joseph was his step-father. And guess what else? He was raised by his mother.

There was no adoption that took place. An “adoption” would mean that Joseph had publicly shamed Mary by telling the community that the child was not his and then married her any way and “adopted” Jesus as his own.  However, we know this isn’t what happened  (please refer to  Matthew 1:19-20 for the story of the angel appearing to Joseph and telling him he needed to wed Mary in spite of the fact that she was pregnant with some other individual’s child).  Because Joseph did the angel’s bidding and married Mary instead of “putting her away privily,” the locals all assumed that Joseph was Jesus’ “real” father. Remember, this was one of the locals big beefs with Jesus during his ministry on earth. They had a tough time accepting him as the Son of God because they had known him his whole life as merely the son of Joseph, a carpenter from Nazareth.

But Joseph knew the truth. Mary knew the truth. And Jesus knew it as well.

Even at the tender age of 12, Jesus understood Joseph’s role in his life as his step-father. Remember that time Mary and Joseph accidentally left Jesus behind in Jerusalem after Passover?  After an entire day of travel, they realize he was missing & they could not find him among their extended family or his friends.  (Can you imagine their prayers that night? “Dear God – we seem to have lost your Only Begotten Son in the flesh.  You probably already knew that but if you wouldn’t mind, please keep him safe and let him know how much we love him. Amen. P.S. Please forgive us – we promise to pay more attention to his whereabouts next time we head into town.”)

Three days later they find him at the temple in Jerusalem, talking with the learned men who were astonished at his answers and his understanding.  Like any mother, Mary was upset with him about staying behind without letting her know where he was.  Now pay careful attention to Jesus’ response to his mother. He says to her:  “How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49).

Not Joseph’s business.  His Father’s business. Jesus distinguishes the difference, even when others don’t.

(Side note: Isn’t it delicious irony that Jesus pointing out who his real Father is appears at the end of the very same chapter in Luke which the “Jesus was adopted” crowd likes to quote? There’s something so piquant about it, wouldn’t you agree?)

But back to the matter at hand. Even God appreciated and respected the mother/infant bond. He didn’t send his only begotten Son in the flesh to be raised by anyone other than his “birth” mother.   Certainly there were more “capable” women in Israel to raise the Son of God – someone married, more mature, financially secure and had a college fund set up for her future child, someone who knew all the ins & outs of child development, nutrition and discipline, had a support system that would be in place for the next 18 years – you know “worthy”  – someone who could answer all these questions the “right” way.  However, Jesus was not secreted away after his birth to be raised by another woman claiming to be his “real” mother. Mary raised him. Jesus stayed with his natural mother, his first mother, his mother.  With this kind of example of family preservation, why is it so difficult for some people to grasp the vital importance of attempting everything possible to preserve the original family unit – a mother and her baby?

If family preservation was in the best interest of the only begotten Son of the Father,  I think we are safe to assume it is in the best interest of all of His children whenever possible.

So Ms. Feverfew, when people start in with the “Jesus was adopted” thing, you can now discuss it with them logically and with scriptural backing.  God didn’t cho0se adoption for Jesus – God chose family preservation.

Much love and belief –


P.S. And don’t even get me started with the “Well, Moses was adopted” thing right now.  That would take several chapters for me to address…

23 thoughts on “God Doesn’t Do Adoption ~ The Jesus Was (NOT) Adopted Version

  1. Hmm, one of those wealthy Roman families could have adopted him and taken him out of Israel. What would have happened if Jesus had become an international adoptee?!

  2. Ahhhh, thank you. I have been sick of the recent blog posts where I have seen this exact thing: “Jesus was adopted so of course adoption is ordained by God”

    I couldn’t be bothered to enlighten these people with the truth because I feel they will cling to whatever belief system they choose even if it means distorting another faith to create their own.

    As for Moses, well that’s easy. God asked/instructed him to lead his people (being the Israelites, not Egyptians. If God recognised his adoption, he wouldn’t have asked Moses, he would have asked someone else) out of Egypt…. away from the Pharoah who was part of Moses’ adoptive family. I always laugh when people bring up Moses. They have no clue of what really happened. They focus and cling to the bit Moses is raised by the Pharoah’s daughter but forget the rest of the story.

    No, the Bible is not the place to find justification for adopting newborns or adoption in general. The laws of that time were different to ours and so adoption was almost a different law altogether.

    Thanks for this post!

    • Yeah, I especially like it when people bring up Moses as an example to justify adopting newborns. I personally think it is a great adoption story! Moses eventually reunites with his original family, then God tells him to go back and confront his adoptive family about the slavery issue, ultimately resulting in Moses leading his family of origin out of bondage. Makes me wonder…do those same people who use the “well, Moses was adopted” argument also feel that he was an angry, ungrateful adoptee? After all, he didn’t just leave his adoptive family, he called down the ten plagues on them as well before he led the Israelites out of Egypt.

      And about trying to enlighten the “Jesus was adopted” crowd: I just don’t know if it is possible. The realization that the belief is false doctrine is something they have to come to on their own. Even my dear, sweet, wonderful husband said to me yesterday, “You certainly are right and your logic is correct, just let me know the rest of the folks fall in line.”

      We both laughed.

  3. Oh.

    Your daughter is around the same age as my son. It is so hard for me to read about moms/adoptees that correlate with what it would have been like to lose him.

    I am so sorry.

    This is very moving.

    • And it is equally difficult for me to watch mothers interact with their daughters who are about her age.

      For some reason, it seems to be getting harder as she gets older too. I have never quite understood why until I read your comment yesterday on your blog about adoption grief never healing because it is alive.

      Maybe this will ease a bit if we are ever in reunion, but I don’t know.

  4. You amaze me! I love how you expanded on this! I always try to remember that eventually God pounds his nails- (Stephen King put it that way) and this one is well and truly pounded- I just don’t understand how the religious crowd can miss the simple facts you stated in this post!

    • Me either! I don’t know if I will be able to simply get up and walk out of the annual adoption-is-great Sunday School lesson they do every year. In the past, I have. (And yes, the LDS church really does encourage each local unit to teach a lesson in their adult Sunday School class about how fantastic infant adoption is, usually in conjunction with “Adoption Month.”)

      Next time though I don’t think I am just going to get up and walk out…I just might stay and go all pointy-headed academic on them and use my (*gasp*) Bible to point out the facts.

      • That would be something to see! I think it’s a brilliant idea- albeit a dangerous one for you. I can’t imagine having to sit through a class all about how wonderful adoption is. My church doesn’t do that, but they do enough- believe me they do enough- *frowns*

      • Even though I don’t stick around for the “adoption-is-great-and-sunshine-and-lollipops” propaganda, it usually takes a number of weeks for God/Life/The Universe to coax me back to church. You know – when I stop and think about it – I never feel more isolated in my experience than I do on the Sunday they trot out the LDSFS adoption videos. Good thing my hubby is so understanding of my intense need to be anywhere but there on those days.

  5. In re-read this tonight and just had to chuckle. Because you know I used this post with someone I know and got “Huh, I didn’t even make those connections God really doesn’t do adoption does he?” It was a good conversation-

    • Mary – I have been doing some more reading/writing about this whole subject and time after time, God rules in favor of family preservation in scripture. My latest question for God has been this: “If You are unchangeable from season to season, then why this change in family preservation? Why in these modern days do Your representatives think it is loving and noble to strip a child of his mother, his lineage, and his history? It wasn’t like that before – why has it changed?”

      I just started asking that question recently and interestingly, I found a book yesterday The Baby Thief: The Untold Story of Georgia Tann, the Baby Seller Who Corrupted Adoption that begins to answer many of my questions. Such a compelling read…sickening, but it explains so much and is a start at understanding what has changed and why. I am beginning to see that God hasn’t changed – the people who claim to follow him have. They have been blinded by greed, by lust, and by covetousness – they place the false god of family above Him and worship the graven image of the “perfect” two-parent home. God’s intention to preserve the natural family instead of destroy it has been ground under the heel of people like Georgia Tann and those who continue to subscribe to her philosophies. And just to make sure I am crystal clear: Any person, adoptive, adopted, non-adoptive, non-adoptee, or a natural parent who opposes open records and family preservation when at all possible is perpetuating Georgia Tann’s evil practices. Yeah, I said it. I called Georgia Tann evil.


  6. Hey M, can I link to this post on my blog? An AP blogger wouldn’t let my comment through on one of her posts and I’d like to address her on my blog using this post 🙂 Love you ::hugs::


  7. I appreciate what I think you’re trying to get at with your post, but I think you have missed a bigger picture.

    First, the real original family was not a mother and her child. It was a man, a woman and their children – think Garden of Eden after the fall. This in no way implicates Jesus in some kind of wierd matriarchical relation. The head of the house is the man (That’s God’s ordained order). God is the head of Christ, Christ is the head of the Body (Church). This is the way it is supposed to be. This is the way God ordained it to be. The fall has created many errors in our world.

    Does this detract from Mary’s role as Jesus’ mother? No, but it also does not detract from Josph’s role as His father (humanly speaking). While Joseph and Mary would have realized there was something very special about Jesus, Scripture is clear that at least Mary did not fully understand His true nature (Read Mark 3).

    Am I suggesting that there is not some special bond between a mother and her child? No, but at some point every boy needs to be separated from his mother to become a man. Otherwise you wind up with a passive man who is more inclined to be like a woman. Is this always the case (for those who’s knees have jerked)? No, but there is a tendancy already in men to be passive and lazy. Feed that by keeping boys close to mom and he will turn out passive and lazy – generally.

    Not trying to offend, just clarifying.

    • Tim, your post is so full of crap that there’s no redeeming it. Way to make sweeping (and erroneous) judgements about single parents and the children of single parents.

  8. Question- If Jesus was not adopted, and only views Joseph as a step-father- then why is Jesus’ genealogy traced through Joseph’s in Matthew chapter 1 (he is also identified in Luke through Mary’s genealogy)?
    Jesus fulfills the Messianic prophecy’s (from the line of David, tribe of Judah, etc.) through Joseph not Mary’s line?

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