Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 28, 1962

Until You Want One

A. C. Grider

It seems that there are lots of "orphans" In the world until somebody wants to take one into his home and give it the love and affection so lacking in Institutional homes, then one cannot be found anywhere. Our brethren who operate orphan homes are always bemoaning the fact that there are lots of orphans begging to be taken into their institutions. But never have I heard of an institutional man putting a Christian couple in contact with such a child that it might be adopted and given a Christian home. Now it seems certain officials are playing the same tune. Certain state officials are crying because so many children are "available" with no takers, only to back away when there is a chance to help these children.

During my debate with Guy N. Woods last July, the Louisville Courier Journal carried a story suggesting that there was a "tragic number" of children available for adoption in the state of Kentucky with not enough applications to adopt them. Now, children needing help which they can't get is the meat on which institutionalism thrives. So, Woods pounced on the newspaper article and proceeded to blow it out of proportions. Within a week the same newspaper corrected the erroneous impressions which the first article had made. The latter article stated that the children under discussion were "older, handicapped, and minority race" children. And it was stated that they had the continuing problem of more applications for normal children than they had children. I wrote in the Guardian relative to this matter and set the record straight. Woods said my Guardian article was filled with "palpable falsehoods" but he never pointed out one of them.

When I was in Grenada, Mississippi, in a meeting in March, I picked up some more very interesting Information about this tragic number of orphans with nobody to adopt them. A childless couple in the congregation there wrote the Supervisor of Adoptions and Foster Care in Kentucky and requested that they be allowed to adopt a child from this "tragic number." The Supervisor wrote them that they didn't have one available. Here is what the Supervisor said: "May we suggest you apply to your own State Child Welfare Agency, telling them of your interest in adopting a child up to seven years of age." The couple had requested a child seven or under. Thus the Supervisor admitted they didn't have a single child under seven to adopt.

But the preacher in the Grenada congregation wrote the Kentucky State Welfare Commissioner who first stated that they had all these orphans. The preacher noted that Katherine Griffith of the Child Welfare League of America declared in Memphis in 1955 that for every child available for adoption in America there were 15 applications from childless homes and then other applications from homes with one child but wanting another one. The preacher asked the Commissioner if Kentucky had more children available for adoption and fewer applications than other states. The Deputy Commissioner replied: "I doubt if our state will vary geatly from that of other states." This is an admission that for each available adoptable child in Kentucky there are fifteen applications for it.

In addition to writing the Commissioner, the Grenada preacher also wrote the Supervisor of Adoptions and Foster Care. The preacher asked: "Would it be possible for me to help families in Mississippi who are seeking adoptive children to obtain such from your state?" The preacher had also inquired particularly about the couple already mentioned in this article. The Supervisor replied: "Your interest in finding homes for the homeless children is greatly appreciated. I am sorry not to be able to encourage Mr. and Mrs._________ in their attempt to adopt a child from Kentucky." See, they talk exactly like our brethren. They've got children by the hundreds until somebody wants one. Then not one child can be found and placed. These state officials seem to be just as determined as some of our brethren that any children they get hold of shall be denied the love and care a real home could afford them.

Incidentally, Mr. Clendenen, Commissioner of Kentucky's Department of Child Welfare, has made another speech which is quoted in the Courier Journal. But I doubt if Woods will want to quote from it. In the May 4, 1962, issue of the Courier Journal, Mr. Clendenen said in caring for children that "relative resources" (quotation marks his, ACG) should be found and tapped. He declared that the children rarely refer to an institution as "my home." He declared that "children identify themselves in terms of family, and even an old grandmother or uncle can be of value in establishing a child's emotional stability." What Clendenen is saying is what we have said all the time. That is, to put a children in an institution apart from his relatives is like-locking him up in prison. God never intended that children be raised away from all their own family ties with other children who are being raised apart from their family ties. It warps their emotions. They will never fully recover. What a happy day for the church of the Lord and what a glorious day for the unfortunate children when Christians start practicing pure and undefiled religion and cease to depend upon some human institution to practice it for them.

— Louisville, Kentucky