Adoption Series: Advocacy in Japan

Anne Nelson is in Japan to meet with Christians lobbying for adoption to be promoted and accessible.

I was reminded the other day of the appalling statistics in Japan where 39,000 children are in the orphanage system but only about 400 babies total get adopted each year, including those adopted through private agencies. If we can do more to help in this area, we must.
— Life-giving ministry leader

Adoption as we know and practice it today originated from the very early believers. Statistics like this beg the question “why is this happening—why aren't Japanese adopting their children?”

This is an important point for countries like Japan that have no tradition of adoption and have huge numbers of unwanted children. Only a biblical worldview gives sufficient value to children who cannot be cared for by their parents such that others will raise them as their own heirs.

In non-biblical worldview, children are too often viewed, at worst, as property and, at best, a means to meet a parent's need. To recognize and believe that a child has eternal intrinsic worth and must be treated accordingly requires the work of the Holy Spirit and the power of God's Word transforming the mind of Christ's followers and spurring them to action. 

Many non-biblical worldviews do not have provision in their religion or culture to accommodate the inclusion of a non-blood-relative into a family's legacy. Many practice ancestor worship and only blood-line-relatives can provide what is required for this essential practice. 

This puts couples who wish to have children, but are infertile, in a very difficult position. To consider adoption as a solution is not one which is often considered, even in the church. This is beginning to change here in Japan and I am here to have conversation with some friends who are working in this arena. 

Anne Nelson is the Vice President of Ministry Operations at LIFE International.