Whether or not you consider yourself a Christian, or a person of faith, I think it behooves us to know what the Bible says about foster care. And even though the words “foster care” aren’t in the Bible, the Good Book has a LOT to say on the matter. But please don’t take my word for it – let’s look at a few passages together and see what we can see.
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. – Proverbs 31:8
I feel like this verse is the best place to start because when it comes right down to it, foster care seeks to bring justice to those who are being crushed in and by our society. And who, specifically is being crushed? Helpless babies, children, and teens, who have no say over the conditions they are born into. You know who else is being crushed by our society? Moms who have their babies taken away.
Allow me to clarify: if their babies are taken away because they are unsafe, and so they themselves have access to the time and support needed to be able to parent said babies, that is what foster care is for. However, these women are LITERALLY the forgotten of society. Most of them are impoverished, traumatized, and without extended family or friend resources to fall back on. Many of them are struggling to overcome mental health and addiction issues because of all that they themselves have endured as children. For those moms of color, they are also dealing with generational trauma and systemic racism on top of all the rest.
Just take a moment and let that sink in.
If these are not the exact people Jesus calls us to step in for, to stand in the gap for, to ENSURE JUSTICE for, I don’t know who is.
Yes, let’s take care of the babies. Of course. But let’s not let our work end there – let’s care for those mamas as best as we can. Let’s pray for them and care about issues that affect them, as well as their children that are in our care. Let’s advocate, and ACTIVATE so that in the future there is way less of a need for foster care. Because foster care is necessary and good, but it is also creating more trauma for these mamas, and yes, for their children.
When you consider it that way, it’s essentially the mic drop answer to the question: “does the Bible talk about foster care?”
But, for the sake of continuing a good conversation, let’s take a look at a few other verses.
Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. Rescue the poor and helpless; deliver them from the grasp of evil people.” – Psalm 82:3-4
Allow me to clarify once more: I’m not (and the Bible is not) referring to moms that have their children taken away as evil people. Not at all. But when evil has been done to people, it is VERY difficult not to repeat that evil. Kids who have been abused sadly often grow up to abuse their children. Certainly not always! Thank God for those who have broken the chains of abuse and neglect, against all odds!
But here again, we see the Bible talking about JUSTICE. The poor and the orphan are always among us, and they are always in need of justice. Even if you don’t feel your family being called to foster children, I would posit that you ARE STILL called to give justice to the poor and the orphan, to rescue the poor and helpless. So what would that look like for you? If you’re not sure, sit in stillness before God for a bit and just ask Him. I promise you, He will be faithful to tell you exactly what kingdom work He wants you to do to live this out.
Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. – James 1:27
This right here was the verse that God used to speak to me about foster care, many years before our family was ready to pursue it. I vividly remember sitting in a Bible study with a group of girlfriends and going through Beth Moore’s study of the book of James. One of my absolute favorite books of the Bible. And one of the most personally challenging for me.
I read this verse and when the time came that night, to share what spoke to us, I said, uncertainly: “I feel like God may be calling us to foster care or adoption at some point…” which seemed a little crazy to me, because at the time, I already felt I had my hands full with two young boys at home. But it was true: God was speaking right to me about the good works He had planned in advance for our family. Don’t you love when that happens?
So to answer the question: Does the Bible talk about foster care, I would say a resounding YES.
But let’s also consider HOW the Bible talks about it: in relation to both the orphan and the widow. Unwed mamas are absolutely widows, when you think about the plight of widows in biblical times. They often had no one, no money, no way to provide for themselves or their family. They were completely dependent on the love and charity of others. These days, you don’t have to have lost a spouse in order for this to be your plight. You just have to be a single woman with a child or children.
God talks about widows and orphans TOGETHER. So foster care is a ministry to both the babes and the mamas. Even when it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard. This is what keeps me trying to love someone who wants nothing to do with me, who is angry at me for “stealing her children.” I still want more for her, because God tells me to. Because He does.
I hope this has shed some light on what the Bible says about foster care, and I hope you have found some encouragement here.
Wishing you the very best today and always!