“Every Child Deserves a Home” | Jim Graves | Catholic World Report
Adoptive parents face challenges and make sacrifices to provide loving, stable homes for children in need.
Addressing families who have adopted children, Pope John Paul II said in 2000, “To adopt a child is a great work of love. When it is done, much is given, but much is also received. It is a true exchange of gifts.”
He continued, “Adopting children, regarding and treating them as one’s own children, means recognizing that the relationship between parents and children is not measured only by genetic standards. Procreative love is first and foremost a gift of self. There is a form of ‘procreation’ which occurs through acceptance, concern, and devotion. The resulting relationship is so intimate and enduring that it is in no way inferior to one based on a biological connection. When this is also juridically protected, as it is in adoption, in a family united by the stable bond of marriage, it assures the child that peaceful atmosphere and that paternal and maternal love which he needs for his full human development.”
November is National Adoption Month. The following are interviews with four Catholic couples who adopted children—some who also have biological children, others who do not. They described the challenges and blessings of becoming adoptive parents.
“Infertility was my greatest gift”
Lottie and Tate Hilgefort of Cincinnati, Ohio married in 2000. They were both anxious to be parents, and were grieved when, after three years of marriage, they could not conceive a child and carry him or her to full term. Adding to Lottie’s frustration, her sister, who was much less anxious to be a parent, conceived on her honeymoon.
Lottie’s doctor suggested in vitro fertilization (IVF). She was tempted to use it, but knew IVF was contrary to Catholic teaching (for more on IVF, read “Church teaching on in vitro fertilization”).
“It was a real test of faith,” Lottie said. “I loved my husband dearly, and I wanted to have his child. But he encouraged me. He reminded me of the dignity of human life.”