Dr. Greg Delort is the Family Ministry professor at Manhattan Christian College in Manhattan, KS. Dr. Delort was instrumental in making my own education at MCC a fruitful one and this is one of the reasons I wanted to interview him for our blog.
Dr. Delort and his wife Julie adopted all three of their children and I was interested to know, in light of the crisis in Haiti and the increasing amount of adoption discussion I hear, some of his insights into the subject. In this two part post I wanted to give Dr. Delort a chance to respond to some questions I had about the subject. If you have been thinking about adoption or would like to know more about the subject from someone who has been through it, I know Dr. Delort and his wife would welcome more questions and further discussion and I hope the following interview is helpful to you!
Cory: What was definitive in leading you and your wife to adopt each of your children?
Greg: There were a couple of issues for us. First, we discovered that we had what was identified as unexplained infertility which made bearing a child from our genes highly unlikely. That was a really difficult diagnosis for us because it was “unexplained.” We didn’t really have any idea of a reason which made sense. Second, we both realized that we shared a heart for children, especially those who are in need. So, when we combined these two issues adoption seemed to be a very natural and reasonable approach to building our family.
Cory: How does your Christian faith influence your view of adoption and your choice to adopt?
Greg: We believe there would be no (literally none) need for a foster care system (we are also foster parents) or institutional care for children without parents if Christians filled these gaps. Our Christian faith is fundamental in our choosing to adopt because it allows opportunities for us to parent and to provide for the needs of children who might otherwise not have them met adequately. We have a rather large view of family, one that goes beyond our household, which we arrived at through a study of family in Scripture.
Cory: What advice would you give to couples thinking about adoption?
First, pray. Be in prayer about all of it, the decisions, the process, the children, your own extended family, everything. There are so many elements involved in adoption that prayer is essential.
Second, be realistic about what lies ahead. Sometimes the process works very smoothly, sometimes not so much. If people make the decision to adopt, be in it for the long haul.
Third, determine realistically what you can provide for a child which will help you know the type of child (age, race, disabilities, environmental history, genetic history, etc.) you can adopt. Although many of us could be moved to adopt any child in need, we may not be cut out to adopt any child. Try to determine any limitations you might have.
Fourth, if you decide you want to adopt, let people know. It is amazing that each of our children came to us through us letting people know of our desire to adopt after a couple of years of working with agencies to no avail. So, share your interest. This also opens up the idea for others to adopt. Good things happen when you’re open about it.
Fifth, consider the route(s) you may choose to take. There are private agency, public agency, private, international adoptions among others. You can investigate to see possible costs (for older children there often is no cost). You can also determine any special requirements regarding the means for adoption you would choose.
Sixth, talk to someone who’s gone through the process. They can answer this question much more fully because there’s really too much to include here. We would always be happy to talk to anyone interested. Seventh, make sure to have an attorney who knows adoption law.
Cory: What are your thoughts on the financial cost of adoptions today?
Greg: We believe that it is an unfortunate fact of the process. Adoption winds up being an economic issue and there are all kinds of people who want to make a profit from the adoption of infants, in particular. We could tell you stories about the costs and how they tend to change during the process. Again, if adoption were more about the children, the high level of profits that some agencies and people seek would not be an issue. But it is something that needs to be considered. We will say that you need to be wise about the costs while trusting that God can provide in ways you may not consider.
Come Back for Part 2 coming soon…