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Adoption in Mormonism

Mormon doctrine teaches that the family is central to life and that children and parents are bound to each other to help one another throughout life. Families are important in both Mormon doctrine and culture.Regarding the matter of unplanned pregnancy, the leaders of the Mormon Church have continually stressed the importance of living chaste and virtuous lives and the importance of not having sexual relations outside of marriage. When unwed parents are either unwilling or unable to marry, the Mormon Church encourages that the child be placed for adoption, keeping in mind what is best for the child.Unwed parents are faced with four choices: Marry and have the child; not marry and have the child; have an abortion; or place the child up for adoption. Abortion, as one of these options, is strictly prohibited by Church standards. The Mormon Church’s website has this to say about it:

Mormon FamilyThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes in the sanctity of human life. Therefore, the Church opposes elective abortion for personal or social convenience, and counsels its members not to submit to, perform, encourage, pay for, or arrange for such abortions.

The Church allows for possible exceptions for its members when: Pregnancy results from rape or incest, or a competent physician determines that the life or health of the mother is in serious jeopardy, or a competent physician determines that the fetus has severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth.
The Church teaches its members that even these rare exceptions do not justify abortion automatically. Abortion is a most serious matter and should be considered only after the persons involved have consulted with their local church leaders and feel through personal prayer that their decision is correct.

Marriage, if possible, is usually considered the best option. Studies show that if the parents are married before the birth of the child, there is a greater likelihood that the parents will be better off financially, be able to provide a more stable home, and have a better chance of having a healthy marriage. The same does not appear to be true for those who are married after the child is born.

When marriage is not possible or desirable, placing the baby up for adoption through Mormon Church adoption services is often the next best option. Adoptive parents are typically in better economic situations, better educated, more mature, and able to provide the child with a stable family life with both a mother and a father. LDS Family Services screens all adoptive parents to make sure they are worthy according to Mormon Church standards.

Also an important consideration for LDS adoptions is placing a newborn in a home where the parents (adoptive or otherwise) have been sealed together in the temple for eternity.  This covenant is a blessing for all members of the family and ideal for the baby.

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