The Impact of a Healthy Marriage on Fostering and Adoption

Roland Martinez

Deciding to foster or adopt is no small decision. When a couple makes the decision to foster or adopt it is made as a lifelong commitment that will bring great fulfillment to that family. However, like any worthwhile endeavor there will be challenges and trials that will test that couple’s resolve, but never anything so challenging that can’t be overcome. A strong, Christ centered marital relationship can impact the foster and adoption community in many ways, not just being that forever home.

A Stable Environment

The instability faced by many children in the fostering and adoptions system can be traumatic.  While there can be resistance from children to connect even in the most loving of environments, it is important to approach the relationship with patience. The way you feel secure as a couple and trust one another will be an example to the child of what you are wanting to offer to them.  Observing a healthy relationship is most likely not a common occurrence. The model you are providing will cultivate trust and safety. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10

A Supportive Environment

The emotional demands of any relationship can be a challenge. It is not natural to put others' needs ahead of our own, and yet a Christ centered marriage does just that. “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4. This approach to making each other a priority provides the support necessary for those in the home to thrive. Families who have fostered or adopted and done it well, have made the decision to put others needs ahead of their own. Creating a supportive environment so that even in the most difficult of times you know your spouse is there for you.

A Safe Environment

Safety in relationships isn’t the most common word to use when describing healthy families. However, when a safe environment exists it opens the door to communication. Think about how feeling safe in your marriage, and cultivating that for a foster or adoptive child can propel them to experiencing healing from past trauma. How it would give a reassurance of feeling accepted. When we feel safe we can open up and express our deepest feelings, whether hurts or dreams, and know that we are not judged, but rather deeply loved. “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22  
There is no better place for a foster or adoptive child than in a home where a healthy marriage exists. God created marriage and family to model the relationship he desires to have with us, and as a spiritual family in the body of Christ. “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…” John 1:12.  Our salvation is a beautiful picture of adoption. There is no better place for that to be modeled in a tangible way than with married couples who choose to become a forever home for a child.

To learn more about this subject, listen to our podcast with Rick and Christine Jacobs, who have personal experience with both fostering and adoption.

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