By Jonathon Van Maren
It is a sad irony that one consequence of the Sexual Revolution has been that Christians are being barred with increasing frequency from caring for society’s orphans, even as abortion activists delight in accusing them of being callous to the fate of these children. I’ve heard many stories of Christians who are unable to become foster parents or adopt, with some discovering a good ways into the process. And in nearly every case, it is the very Christian beliefs that drew them to foster care or adoption that results in their rejection by government agencies.
One example of this went viral over the weekend, when Ontario resident Levi DenBok posted a photo of a letter he and his wife had recently received from Children’s Aid Services:
Dear Amanda and Levi,
Please accept this letter as acknowledgement of the closing of your file with our agency. Thank you for bringing to our attention that your family will be expanding again, and we want to congratulate you on this wonderful upcoming event.
We also want to let you know that the policies of our agency do not appear to fit with your values and beliefs and therefore, we will be unable to move forward with an approval for your family as a resource home.
We trust that do you understand this dilemma and we welcome your feedback or questions should any arise for you upon receipt of this letter.
Take care and we wish your family all the very best.
Levi denBok accompanied the photo with the following explanation:
I have been wrestling with whether or not I should post this…
I apologize in advance for the length of this post. Amanda and I have long felt that we were called to open up our home to foster and potentially to adopt. We love kids. We have enough food to share and enough space in our home and our hearts for a few more so we started a lengthy process with CAS.
We just received the letter that we have been rejected.
Here are some reasons why I was tempted not to share this:
- I don’t intend to vilify CAS. They do a difficult and necessary work in our community. Even as I am disappointed with what has transpired, I still thank God for the work that they are doing.
- I don’t intend to suggest that we are in any way martyrs. I’m not looking for consolation or empathy.
Here’s why I ultimately decided to share this:
- I believe in the separation of church and state. The state can and should mandate behaviours. Laws are good. They keep us safe. But the state cannot and should not attempt to mandate belief. The state cannot impose its own ideals on its citizens. This has proven to be disastrous all throughout history. Whether the state is run by Christians, Muslims, or Secularists, it cannot coerce belief.
When I spoke with our worker on the phone, she affirmed that she believed that I would honour the mandates of CAS. I had agreed to obey every policy. And yet – she told me that she had to reject us because she knows that we hold values that differ from the values of CAS. Even if I obey the ideals of the program, she knows that my ultimate allegiance is to my God. For us to foster and adopt, we needed to do more than just obey – we needed to convert.
That is dangerous.
- I want to let you, my friends, know that this is happening right now in Canada. There are too many kids who don’t have a forever family. There are too many kids that are trapped in the system. We opened our doors and we opened our hearts. We took a full day off of work and paid to put both of our kids in daycare for 10 sessions. We childproofed, we read, we counted the cost and we were in. We’re not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but we were ready to pour ourselves into one of the kids who has been left behind.
But we can’t do that. Because we’re Christians. In our interview, I was asked what kind of church I attended. She asked: “Are you one of those churches that still believes that the Bible is true? It was written thousands of years ago and, obviously, the world has changed.” She wasn’t trying to be rude, but as soon as she asked that question, I knew we were in trouble. And I was right.
Because of our answer to that question – because we believe that the Bible is true, and we live our lives accordingly – it was determined that a child would be better off homeless than living with us.
Again, I want to reiterate: CAS is not the enemy. Our worker was a wonderful woman who was simply following her orders. She was fond of us. We are fond of her. She’s involved in one of the most important callings in the world – she is responsible for the welfare of our orphans.
I’m just sad to know where we stand as a country. We would rather an orphan remain in the system than risk them being exposed to people like the denBoks. I’m sure that many of you find my faith to be odd – perhaps even off-putting. But would you go so far as to say that my faith disqualifies me from waking up in the middle of the night to rock a 3-month-old back to sleep while her mother detoxes? Because that’s where we’re at today.
Here’s the thing: Somebody has to wake up with that baby. Somebody has to feed them, structure their schedules around them, make weekly visitations with baby’s mom. We were up for that. If you’re ready to disqualify people of faith from this responsibility, then you’d better be up for opening up your home. Because there’s at least one more baby now that needs a home, and until further notice, we are going to have to sit on the sidelines.
Again, the DenBoks are not an exception. Christian parents are rejected with increasing frequency, and it is almost entirely due to the fact that they hold to Christian principles. On the other hand, gay couples are often prioritized by government agencies, despite their obvious inability to provide both a mother and a father. There is some indication that this trend will increase in the years to come.
And as always, vulnerable children will suffer the brunt of the Sexual Revolution.